We all come from somewhere. Our ancestors set the stage for us and cleared the way to the lives we live today. For better or for worse, we stand on their shoulders. This project began when I looked through the very old family photo albums that were left behind after my parents died in 2016 and 2017.

They had been stuffed away in the back of a cupboard, and I had never seen them before, so I hung on to them. I put them away, in the back of a cupboard at my house. It was four years before I went through them thoroughly and appreciated them for what they were; a material link between myself and those who came before. Some were also just really great images.

On both sides of my family, the generations before my parent’s were rural folks, making their livings and raising their families on farms in Southern Ontario, Canada. It is this knowledge that drew me to the countryside just beyond the city limits where I live today to make new images and to attempt

to make visceral contact with the past through photography.

 

This project explores the visual and emotional connections that bind my family and the rural landscape by combining newly made images with family photos from the 1920’s through the 1960’s.

 

A note about the locations:

All of the newly made photographs were taken in the Niagara Region, part of the Niagara Greenbelt. The Greenbelt was established in 2005 and includes 2 million acres of land. It extends 325km from the eastern end of the Oak Ridges Moraine, near Rice Lake in the east, to the Niagara River in the west.

The Greenbelt protects farmland, forests, wetlands and watersheds and supports recreation and tourism. The main purpose of the Greenbelt is to limit development and prevent urban sprawl. Ontario’s Greenbelt is the world’s largest of it’s kind.