Posts Tagged ‘photography’
Today I’ve got no prairie stories or adventures to recall yet I do have a reason to recollect a certain Ottawa adventure, pertaining to my friends & collaborators back in that particular home.
Leading up to my flight home to Manitoba, I was in a mad rush. I had to work hard & fast on wrapping up several very fun projects, of my own as well as of my counterparts in TORRiD PRODUCTiONS. For those of you unfamiliar, TORRiD PRODUCTiONS is an Ottawa-based multi-diciplinary artist collective I am still a part of, along with amazing artists like AiLEEN MARTELLA, OLEXANDRA PRUCHNiCKY, BONNiE FINDLEY, & of course TORRiD’S co-founder DANNiEL OiCKLE. Although I am adjusting very well to the small-town life after years in the Nations capital, I think of these friends often; it was in their company I found a lot of fun & welcomness. I miss them.
Speaking of – as I was mentioning earlier, leading up to my departure from Ottawa I had to tie up some big projects that we at TORRiD had on the go; one of them being the filming of a music video for DANNiEL OiCKLE’S song ‘Caring & Hate’ (from THE CORRUPTiON OF FLESH, TORRiD PRODUCTiONS, 2011). Filming took place in two locations: one at Ottawa’s MERCURY LOUNGE, a bar located in the Byward Market, the other in a downtown apartment where we shot additional footage. BONNiE FiNDLEY & DAN ZiEMKiEWiCZ lent their cinematography/production skills & although I have yet to see the finished results I can promise you they will look nothing short of sharp & amazing. Through out shooting, FiNDLEY, a photographer of the highest calibre, shot some additional images which she released publicly today. Below I have shared a few with you -
It’s also worth noting that DANNiEL’S hard work has recently landed him on the cover of Xtra!, Ottawa’s Gay & Lesbian News Publication. I received my own personal copy right from DANNiEL myself – & I’m not only thrilled he continues to be true to himself on this journey, but blessed to meet him, & be a part of TORRiD PRODUCTiONS. Way to go DANNiEL! Here’s to friends left behind but most certainly still in the heart. Love you all -
Well I’ve seen a glorious summer’s end here – & now as the famous JONi MiTCHELL song says “summer time is falling down, and winter is closing in.” I can’t help but think of this tune when I am amongst the colours & awesomeness of the nature out here as MiTCHELL’S poetry eloquently sums up how breathtaking it all truly is – yet at times lonesome & brisk. ”Now the warriors of winter, they give a cold, triumphant shout. All that stays is dying, and all that lives comes wandering out….” This is the North. Today I went for walk & found myself yet again singing this song & snapping endless photos of the yellows in the trees, the bright shining sun cascading down on everything in its glory, & a skyline forever impressed on my memory… Let me share but a few with you now, along with the MiTCHELL classic ‘Urge For Going’!
One of the beauties of returning home is the re-discovering of old childhood remnants. These are the things that are left behind when you initially leave; an old toy, photographs, even the pieces of the ‘home’ you lived in that hold so many memories…
Below I have collected but a few photos of such remnants which I share here with you. For example you will see some old pieces of art I would have made in my high school days; like the oil pastel replica I made of a favourite JONi MiTCHELL record, or a charcoal drawing I did at a time I would have really been struggling with feeling alone & isolated here.
You will also see some images of me with my siblings as kids at what would have been a SHRiNE CiRCUS that took place at the WHiTNEY FORUM, early 80′s. Another is a snap shot of my oldest sister… who I love dearly. Then there is the image I took of the door to my father’s home, perched up on the rocks, at what I still to this day think is the primo spot in town, view wise. Today it is old, paint-chipped & a mere flicker of the home it once was, filled with vibrancy & love. ….
I discovered, in a drawer downstairs in my mom’s home, a bag containing the Ukrainian dancing outfits of both my sisters, whom would have worn these as little girls. What’s really key to these dresses, is that every stitch on the vests, every stitch of the beautiful embroidery on the dresses & blouses, were hand-sewn by my beloved Grandma Mary, whom we lost in 2009. We all miss my Grandparents dearly – & they were & always will remain close to our hearts. We can never forget the love we were given & every stitch is symbolic of the love they gave to each one of us.
You’ll see a collectors plate, which I used to see hanging in my childhood home for so long, & never did it have an impression on me of any great capacity growing up. It was almost one of those things I was blind to, took for granted for lack of a particular consciousness you only gain after life away… only now as an adult do I look at it & appreciate it for its charm & beauty. It’s serenity.
You’ll see a MiSS PiGGY doll, which was originally given to me at the age of 3 when I would have had my tonsils removed. I recall it well when I received her before going into the General Hospital – & her battered body reveals how much I loved her for years. You could imagine my surprise when I came home to my room, a week or so living with my mother here – to find she had found her & tucked her under my bedding. The image of the massacred BARBiE heads – comes from my dad’s garage, where as a kid I would play for hours with my dolls, engrossed in my own little world of make-believe where these dolls played the parts of my characters…inevitably a many of them ended up tortured & beheaded… we won’t go there. Yet there they remain – just where I would have left them.
Within this collection there are also a few images that were very familiar to me growing up, such as the photograph of my Grandpa Stan when he was very young, & the handsome couple, whom while I know very little about I could only imagine they loved each other dearly. To me they were like Hollywood stars, forever captured on film.
There is a photo I took while up at my dad’s home in town, where you’ll often see sewage boxes perched up on the rocks leading up & down. To many of you they may seem ridiculous – even ugly. Yet as a child these sewage boxes served to many of us kids like a special side-walk – a path that felt made just for our little feet & our entertainment, & we would take these paths up & down those rocks, with a bit of change in our pockets so we could go buy a Mr FREEZE at THE CANDY BAR or play at ROTARY PARK. They are an integral part of FLiN FON.
Finally there is a photo I took of my childhood handprint in some cement that was laid in our yard years ago, out at SCHiST LAKE. We all went up there & left our imprints – many years later I find it there & can’t help but go back in time….To me these photographs are a testament to but one man’s life – & it makes me appreciate how we all have so much more to us than meets the eye, yet more often than not these are the things those who love us never get the opportunity to understand or see as a part of us. I say – these are the things worth sharing.
MUTAGENiCS STUDiOS is an Ottawa-based creative team that produces dark and twisted art. They are comprised of Owner TiMOTHY BACON, and Partner/Photographer PAUL GREEN, who for the last three decades have worked in broadcast media, interactive media, advertising and branded entertainment as writers and creative directors. They have had numerous screenplays & original television series optioned, and in 2006 formed MUTAGENiC STUDiOS to “explore photography and develop their own art styles that would allow us to go beyond the written word, create unique imagery and push the boundaries of our storytelling.” Their photographic artwork has appeared in the Montreal Mirror, Guerilla Magazine, Rue Morgue Magazine, just to name a few.
Recently this amazing duo launched another exciting project called Babylon Smith: An Illustrated Novel. To get a sense of the story-telling these imaginative two do, picture if you will, a character by the name of Babylon Smith, a freelance Regulator working the mean streets of the mega-city, struggling to make ends meet. It’s the stuff of comic book fans dream of and without a doubt you can tell TiMOTHY and PAUL are true fans of this art form. In every photo I happened to see gracing the walls of M-STUDiOS I could see the dedication in every shot, in every character they dreamed up.
With all of this said – I graciously and very excitedly accepted M-STUDiOS invitation to partake in another project currently on the go, a series of short stories/graphic novels. This kind of thing really excited me because although I could never claim to be a DiE-HARD COMiC NERD in the truest sense of the title I did grow up very into comics, and the escapism involved in that particular sci-fi sphere. What appealed to me about comics when I was young was the opportunity to use your imagination to be taken away to another time and place, and it just so happens these guys know how to create these worlds and characters with respect for the genre. Hence why I had no trouble considering this as a worthwhile project. I’ll take any opportunity I can to escape my own reality – especially in the hands of TiMOTHY and PAUL. They gave me a story line and a character to embody – and I took this direction and ran with it.
That said – here are a few photos from this morning when we united at their headquarters, although for any further information on who I play or what this particular story is about, I’m afraid you are gonna have to wait. Come on, you know you love a little mystery now right? What I can say is that its gonna come out looking pretty dark, gritty and in short, pretty darn slick if you ask me.
I’ll keep you posted on any developments but in the meantime check out their website for more:
Not but a couple of weeks ago, BONNiE FiNDLEY and I collaborated on a fun photo shoot using all sorts of make-up and glitter. These are not those photos, however these are just the test shots – which stand well on their own. Until the other photos are ready to release, enjoy these images in the meantime. Can’t express enough how talented this woman is – mad skills.
Check out these images, taken by Ottawa photographer J PEREZ ALVAREZ, of YOU GOT SQUARED PHOTOGRAPHY. For more info on YOU GOT SQUARED, check out www.yougotsquared.com.
Here are a few photos, taken a few years ago now – by my friend and fellow photographer, DAN ZiEMKiEWiCZ. These have never been released before and if you notice I didn’t even have my arm tattoos at that time! ZiEMKiEWWiCZ is one of a kind and I encourage you to check out more of his work.
on twitter: @dawzyphoto
Back in 2011 I did a photo shoot very much inspired by my family and our Ukrainian background. I had been experimenting with all sorts of eccentric characters and shoots by then, but I found myself thinking about my grandparents and even great-grandparents; their history surviving and thriving in Saskatchewan during some of the hardest times before the 1930′s and on. I may not know a great deal of that history, certainly not as much as my two Uncles, whom have fortunately retained a lot of those stories passed down to them from their Uncles, Aunts and parents. At times I find myself very much wanting to be connected to that history – to know and understand my roots as well as pay respect to those important and beloved people before me.
I inevitably I ended up imaging what my life would/could have looked like had I been born in this generation. How could I have lived, even as a gay male – would I have suppressed all of that – opted for a life of family and hard work in the fields or mines? How would I have faced the possibility of going off to war? What would life have looked like through his eyes and what were the stories would have told?
Eventually, after time spent in character, I came up with two images; first I imagined a younger CC, before the second world war he would more than likely have found himself faced with as did my family. He would have been living in Saskatchewan on the farms, a part of my families history long gone. Later on I experimented with make-up and lighting – coming up with an older version of that same CC; I imagined him to be a quiet sort of man – a hard worker and dedicated to his family. Perhaps he would have been a single and solitary ‘bachelor’ – who knows – but I did enjoy the process and the outcome. The photo is very much a tribute to the past and my family which has always provided me with a source of fascination and inspiration.
I’ve also included a shot recently taken by myself, as I tested out my camera and some costumes I had borrowed for a different shoot. Let me know what you think – it’s a sort of alternative to this idea; more decadent, outlandish and luxurious - definitely a sort of character from that time….