1971 Photo Narrative ~ Mud City Estates

In the spring of 1971 I had been living in Vancouver for about a year, a refugee from the violence of America. During that time I had been camera-less in Vancouver with little or nothing to show toward the advancement of my photography career. I hustled my portfolio of American photographs around town but didn’t find any work until Fred Douglas, the photographer for the Vancouver Art Gallery, payed me to help build a darkroom under the stands at Capilano Stadium baseball park for a kids summer photography program.

At about the same time I was asked to build a darkroom for the Cool Aid Craft Factory in a Yaletown warehouse on Hamilton St. The Craft Factory was a utopian worker collective, manufacturing ceramic hash pipes and aluminum geodesic dome struts. The first pile of struts was sent down to the Yippie occupation at All Seasons Park for the construction of squat domes à la Buckminster Fuller, so I borrowed a 35mm Canon camera and headed for West Georgia Street where I shot the pictures for Mud City Estates, my very first Vancouver work and the opening piece in the 2015 grunt gallery Eraser Street exhibition.

My photography career at the Craft Factory was cut short when the ceramic hash pipe kiln caught fire and the darkroom went up in flames, but thanks to the VAG’s backup baseball stadium darkroom I was able to put together my first Vancouver story.

Exhibited 2015, Eraser Street show, grunt gallery, Vancouver, Canada.

Original 1971 photographs and text destroyed in 1987 Montreal flood, reprinted 2014, narrative series, five 24 x 20 inch multi image montages, selenium toned gelatin silver fiber base black and white photographs dry mounted to rag board, hand written text.