ARTWORK > Distances

This project was commissioned for the Uncharted Waters exhibition on the outdoor display panels at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto. I focused on Lake Ontario as a nexus connecting many different people, as well as connecting ‘nature’ to the urban, and the land to water. I found subjects who related to the lake or the port area in a variety of ways; windsurfers, houseboat dwellers, sailors, beachgoers, residents of the waterfront area and so on. In titles and very short texts I give minimal information about their association to the place, and their lives.

I am also interested in water as the first mirror, and as an analogy for photographic portraiture itself. Barthes has expressed photography’s paradoxical presence and absence most eloquently in relation to the faces of loved ones. But why are we so often fascinated by images of strangers? Perhaps the intimacy of wanting and being able to look so long and so closely makes us feel as though we know them. Or we are intrigued by their difference, their mystery as an Other, their impenetrability. For me, an ‘image’ is something that invades us, consumes us, is utterly present and yet remains untouchable. This presence slips through our fingers like water, like the horizon it is always just out of reach.