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Question 12: Are there any noteworthy events that influenced your career?


I think the most outstanding event was… Well my father was a photographer, but I never knew him as such because he stopped taking pictures when I was born. Not necessarily as a consequence, though. So later in life, when I was doing my second year at the Emily Carr Art Institute, he gave me all his old negatives. They were all two-and-a-quarter-inch negatives, quite a sizable format. They really impressed me, showing he had done an enormous amount of work, photographing his family, the region, in a manner that was quite special. When you photograph with a two-and-a-quarter camera, you hold it lower, you hold it at heart level. So you look at things in an entirely different way. And I noticed that from his generation to mine, it was completely different, because I’m not photographing in the same way, and the community has changed in my mind. I’ve worked with nude figures, while my father worked with people… well, he took a lot of wedding pictures, and even people in their caskets, he photographed them. So his pictures are very descriptive of a specific time period while mine are not very linked to a period. Sometimes it worries me that I’m not documenting as much as my father did. So I use his photos and add paint to it, and this brings in the present, the past is brought into the present and the paint wakes it up. So this links my father’s photographs and my work, paint as a sort of vernacular that brings them together, which I find important. So that was something that really struck me, when I discovered all my father’s negatives. He had thousands and thousands. So I think that this was one of the most outstanding events of my career as a photographer.