Yellow: how a photographer found light and colour in a dark place

Originally posted September 27, 2014

I’ve moved to Yellowknife twice. The first time was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done. Just prior to leaving Montreal, my mother was experiencing back pain and coughing a little more than usual. She had just begun a barrage of medical tests. Everything was up in the air. In July, the last time I saw her before I was to leave, she looked right through me and saw that I was worried. She knew that I was going to tell her I wasn’t going and so she spoke for a few minutes, as eloquently as ever, and convinced me that it was going to be OK.

In September, I got a call from home. I knew the moment I heard her voice what she was going to say. Cancer. On October 21st, with her three children at her side, she passed away. From that moment on, I resolved to never return to Yellowknife. I resented it for taking that time I could have spent with my mother. Montreal was home, and that’s where I belonged. I moved back with my girlfriend Jenn. A few weeks later –no job, savings depleted and our relationship deteriorating – Jenn decided to return to Yellowknife and keep us afloat financially. I followed shortly after.

Upon arriving for the second time, I sold almost all my photography equipment to pay down debts and bills. On more than one occasion, I thought about ending it, however, throughout my life, I’ve had the privilege of being surrounded my incredibly strong, loving and compassionate women. Jenn kept me positive and eventually, things turned around.

I started the Yellowknife series in November of last year. At the beginning, it seemed like a continuation of something similar in style and theme that I had started in Montreal, but a few weeks into it, and after some reflection, I could tell this was more. My resentment towards the city was dissipating. Yellowknife was no longer the enemy. This was, in a way, a reconciliation. The series is a study of the interplay between man-made structure and the natural world, converging aesthetics, intentional or unintentional and how those relationships develop over time. How they endure.

My mother was a poet and used poetry to reconcile the past. I believe I am doing the same with the photos in my Yellowknife series. For this selection, I’ve chosen those that include yellow.

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