Flight Line: Erasure, digital print on aluminum.
Flight Line: Erasure
Photo mosaic printed on aluminum, 74 images, 7 ft x 10 ft, 2017
The mosaic is composed of historical black and white mapping photographs archived at the National Air Photo Library interwoven with my recent colour photographs of Ottawa and Northern Canada. The aluminum references flight and the structural material of aircraft.
The images create an intertwined narrative of time, place and memory. At its centre is the role played by the now-erased Rockliffe Air Station in the growth of Ottawa and the North, from 1930 to the present.
The historical photos and my colour photographs explore early and present day locations, centred on the site of Rockliffe Air Station and the city of Ottawa They chart its growth from a small colonial capital and lumber town to the city we know today. Early and recent aerial images also trace routes north of Ottawa, which the Royal Canadian Air Force Photo Squadrons photographed in the 1940s and 1950s, providing the images for the first accurate mapping of the North.
These photographs, through northern Quebec to Hudson's Bay, Churchill, Manitoba, Cape Dorset, Nunavut and on to the Northwest Passage and Resolute Bay, follow the route of the High Arctic Relocation of 1953, when several Inuit families were moved from their more southerly homes and resettled in the High Arctic, to an extreme and barren environment, as part of government programs aimed at strengthening Canadian sovereignty in the North at the start of the Cold War.
Northern mapping photos track the route used to move Inuit from their homes in Hudson Bay and Baffin Island to Resolute in the High Arctic Relocation of 1953-55 in the name of sovereignty. My recent works in video explore the continuing effects of this enormous human rights violation.