Biding my time with landscapes…

So, I currently have two projects on the go.

One is a very involved self-initiated project on feminist musings of beauty. Based on Naomi Wolf’s ‘The Beauty Myth’, I am commenting on the expectations of women to conform to a socially constructed ideal of beauty and the implications of such conformity and non-conformity.  This project, currently under the working title ‘In Real Life’  is due to be completed in March 2012. The project will be my first solo exhibition to date and will run in Xchanges Gallery, Victoria, for one month in April 2012. Aspirations for this project also include a photo-book. The project is just launching, and I am currently reflecting on my own thoughts of beauty and body image and exploring self portraiture to express  myself. Work shall be uploaded in the coming weeks (a sample of such is in my previous post – ‘Does my bum look big in this‘.

Project number two has been mentioned in my blog already. Similar in ways, it is concerned with  concepts of identity in the  western world.  In particular, it will focus on the divide of identity across Canada between Canadian First Peoples and New Generation Canadians. Particular interest thus far is in the cultural traditions of The First Peoples such as totem carving which was once reserved for the traditional Potlatch festival. This celebration which was outlawed by European newcomers to Canada in the late 19th Century declaring a ‘potlatch ban’ was later removed in the early 20th century. Today, totem poles adorn British Colombian cities such as Victoria and Duncan (nicknamed City of Totems). However, totem poles now standing outside museums, in parks, at the entrances to malls and even outside of police stations seem very out of context. Removed from their traditional place and inserted into contemporary architecture and modern cities, do they exist as reminders of a rich history or as a feeble attempt to demonstrate co-existence between very different worlds? Or even worse, are they just a visual souvenir and stamp of authenticity for the many cruise ships and tourists that pass this way? This one part of a very complex and large project and one which perhaps as an outsider (neither native or new generation Canadian) I may never fully resolve. Other parts will also be explored – such as areas of lands, reservations and treaties. A very significant part of this project and one which is providing the most elusive is tracking down the residential schools that existed in British Columbia, that were set up to relocate First Peoples’ children from their traditional home and background and teach them a new way of life and Christianity. These schools, notorious for varying degrees of abuse came to a close around the 1970’s (although the last school is recording to have closed in 1996).  As part of my project,  I aim on tracing the original buildings of some of these schools and photographing them as they are now, be that abandoned or in use for another purpose. Any information or contributions that you may have about this would be very welcomed – please contact me at

So these projects are the at the forefront of my practice at the moment, each as important as the other, but ‘In Real Life’ taking precedence due to the exhibition time line.  However, in between my research for both, I am filling photographic gaps with landscape photography, an inevitable distraction when living on scenic Vancouver Island .

Victoria’s inner harbour viewed from the Johnson St. Bridge. April 2011.


One Response to “Biding my time with landscapes…”

  1. Very nice …. love it except for the “April 2012…….. that a long time for you not to be in ireland. it misses you and i think you should concider how it might be feeling???!! SElfish cow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

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