“Inside Greenwich-Mohawk Brownfield”: an exhibit

I have been invited to show some of my photographs at the 4TH ANNUAL Brownfield Forum: Brownfield Redevelopment & the Community. If you are in Brantford on Nov. 9, drop by the Brantford Polish Hall, 154 Pearl Street to see my work and photos by The Brantford Camera Club.

Although I didn’t “get inside”, I did tour the property of the Greenwich-Mohawk Brownfield/formerly the Massey-Ferguson, Massey-Harris and Cockshutt Plow industrial campus – in the pouring rain during the sites “doors open” last May.brantford_greenwich_mohawk

 

For more information:
519-759-4150 ext. 2334
www.brantford.ca/brownfields

Modern Canadian Interiors Reviewed!

Today I discovered a glowing  review of the book Modern Canadian Interiors that the TLR Club (of which i am a member) published this May on the Hotshot* blog.

MCI book coverAnd without further ado here is the review!

Modern Canadian Interiors by Jacqueline Bennett

Modern Canadian Interiors (2010) is the first publication by the TLR Club to highlight a rich collection of photography and carefully executed research. The TLR Club (Twin Lens Reflex) consists of five photographers; Alejandro Valencia, Colin Savage, Kevin McBride, Martin Helmut Reis and Richelle Forsey.

An interesting and somewhat ironic name choice- Modern Canadian Interiors suggests an entirely different context than the works reveal. Readers may be surprised to learn the TLR Club’s collection of photography explores technically “vacant structures” and in some cases condemned buildings to expose a whole new world of still-life occurring behind the seemingly abandoned walls. There is a surprising wealth of interesting artifacts, graffiti, and spaces still obviously used by squatters, thrill seekers and the like, revealing that these buildings are anything but vacant.

What is not surprising is that the TLR Club members are much more than photographers; they are part of a larger community known as Urban Explorers, which by definition are, “ [people] who explore restricted urban areas such as abandonments, tunnels, roofs, construction sites, etc.” (www.urbanexplorers.net). In MCI viewers get a behind the scenes look into the many places in our communities that have been left to crumble in order to make room for “new” infrastructures and gentrification to take place. Andrew Shaver notes in his foreword that, “while there is a degree of activism that is evident in the choices of [the TLR Club’s] photographic subjects, theirs is an implicit, not explicit argument” (p. 7, A. Shaver) of social and economic urban decay.

Beyond the context of the MCI collection is the remarkable composition which beautifully highlights the thick textures of peeling paint, the varying degree of lighting that creeps in, and an assortment of items left behind that reference past occupants. Each page leads to a story greater than the last. An added feature for true art historians is found on the last pages which detail the histories and fate of each structure.

In conclusion, whether you are looking for beautiful conversation pieces, interested in the histories of abandoned buildings or a true thrill seeker at heart, this publication is sure to satisfy an array of audiences interested in Canadian photography at its best.

By: Jacqueline Bennett

 

porn free locker room in the Crowe Foundry

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cambridge, Ontario

Founded in 1953 by brothers Bob and Don Crowe. The Crowe Foundry made iron castings for water pumps, engines and the agricultural sector. Unable to secure new financing in 2009, the factory closed putting 145 people out of work.
I shot the foundry shortly after it closed with my TLR. We weren’t on site for long, so i only shot a couple rolls of film, one colour and one black and white.  Because i develop my own black and white film and take my colour to the lab, my colour films are always processed first. This particular roll however eluded development for 2 + years as it was mislaid in a light safe bag and shelved! I shoot more than i process, and prefer shooting to the darkroom (who doesn’t?), and when this film didn’t turn up, i thought maybe i had developed it and misplaced the negs (this has sadly happened), but i continued to look for it all the same. It wasn’t until i moved that this roll and others were discovered and processed!

The locker room and more specifically how the lockers are “decorated” and what is left behind inside can say so much about the people who once worked in the abandoned spaces I photograph. As much as what is there might tell a story, so can what isn’t. Unlike Bunge where the lockers were filled with pornography (raunchy birth canal porn) a trend in food industry locker rooms I’ve found, Crowe’s locker contents were akin to the what you might find in the back of a desk drawer, items that are useful if you ran out of the one you were using, something to smell good, refresh your breath, polish your appearance with etc. and of course, work shirts/shoes and other soot covered items that wouldn’t be needed anymore.  But most were just empty. In fact the locker rooms were as immaculate as the foundry, (as immaculate as it could be), everything had been arranged, cleaned, stacked and put-away. People with pride? Or auto-bots who did what they did everyday on the last day at work?