Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All

© Eliot Wright, 2013Another year has come and gone and I find myself once again celebrating Christmas with family and friends. Twenty-thirteen turned out to be a big year for photography for me: I was the Assistant Director at ViewPoint Gallery, became the secretary for PHOTOPOLIS: The Halifax Festival of Photography, and receiving a substantial Arts Nova Scotia grant for the NS Industrial Project (which I've been writing about on this blog). It was a good year for commercial photography as well, having completed projects for NSCAD University and St. Mary's University, documented artwork for a host of NS visual artists and even worked with Chris Nicholls on a location fashion shoot during the summer. As a result, I've shot more images in the past twelve months than I have in 2010, 2011 and 2012 combined!

On a more personal note, I recently got engaged to my partner and collaborator Liz van Allen, who has had a big year launching her eva Jewellery brand, too! To close out the year, I wrote a little Christmas story for Arts East—an Atlantic-based e-magazine related to all things art. Head over to their website to read, "The Family Tree." Merry Christmas to all and best wishes for the new year!

To celebrate, here are some of my favourite images from the past year...

© Eliot Wright, 2013
Urban Landscape, Halifax, Nova Scotia

© Eliot Wright, 2013
Grain storage facility, Colchester County, Nova Scotia

© Eliot Wright, 2013
Stellarton Coal Mine, Pictou County, Nova Scotia
© Eliot Wright, 2013
Beach Portraits, Bayswater Beach, Nova Scotia
© Eliot Wright, 2013
Ceramics Studio, NSCAD University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

© Eliot Wright, 2013
Working on "What Happened to Esther," a film by Jenna Marks, NSCAD University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

© Eliot Wright, 2013
MIG Welding, Metal Shop, NSCAD University, Halifax, Nova Scotia
© Eliot Wright, 2013
Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam, NetPlay Works, Bridgetown, Nova Scotia
© Eliot Wright, 2013
Jewellery by Theresa Lee Capell (left) and Liz van Allen (right)
© Eliot Wright, 2013
St. Mary's University Alumni, Halifax, Nova Scotia
© Eliot Wright, 2013
New Construction, Burnside, Nova Scotia

Friday, December 6, 2013

NS Industrial Update: Bowater Mersey

Entrance to the offices at Bowater Mersey, Brooklyn, NS
After photographing Stanfield's Limited in Truro in early November, I figured that was pretty much the end of the photography portion of this project. When I was beginning to sort through some of the 2000 frames I'd taken so far, a contact got back to me with information about the Bowater Mersey paper mill in Brooklyn, on the southern shore of Nova Scotia. A few emails later and we were on our way down to tour the plant!

Tanks at Bowater Mersey, NS
The old Mersey started production back in 1929 and primarily produced newsprint over the course of its life. The Chronicle Herald and The Washington Post were two of its largest buyers, but the plant had been idled in mid-2012 due to high operational costs. Now decommissioned, a crew had started deconstruction of some of the buildings just a few weeks before we arrived. Damn! Nonetheless, outfitted in our reflective vests, hard hats and steel-toed boots, we toured the facilities looking for engaging subject matter. Our guide was knowledgeable about the space and explained much to us about the process of a "thermomechanical" (TMP) mill, such as Bowater Mersey was.

The paper making process
Unfortunately, the most telling aspect of a pulp and paper mill, its Fourdrinier-style paper machine (the floor filled with large rollers where the pulp is pressed, dried, cut and placed on rolls etc.), was virtually un-photographable as the power had been cut and the room was plunged into darkness. Even without the room lights, I managed to make some interesting images with the natural light trickling through the few windows that were there. Other areas of the plant still had power and I worked away photographing in the sodium-lit industrial landscape.

After about two and half months of pretty consistent travelling and shooting, Liz and I are now in the editing stages and will soon be designing the jewellery pieces. More on that to come soon!

The end of the line, Bowater Mersey, Brooklyn, NS