These photographs were taken the last time I laid eyes on Thomas Rapsey, the man behind the ever-expanding Staying Underground empire. I showed up at his house a few hours before he was set to take off across the country and pulled him down the street, milk in hand, to get these portraits made before he emigrated from Atlantic Canada in May 2014. The youngest member of the Rapsey royal family has an undeniably positive presence and his passion for music selection encourages all those who cross his path to take a deeper listen.
Found this photo from the day we met, traveling between Montreal and Halifax in the last days of 2012.
Took this portrait of talented artist/carpenter Drew Mosley with his smiling dog Olive in Ottawa a couple of summers ago. Look at that speckled tongue! And check out his beautiful creations.
It’s been my first winter back in Montreal after a decade-long hiatus & and the coldest one in 115 years. I left my tuque at home on purpose yesterday and the offensively pale underbelly of the city blinded me under its cold March light. The early signs of spring are upon us; a mixture of preemptive relief, dogshit and dollar store perfume. Throw in some decaying cigarette butts, half a dozen shorts sightings and some brown lake-sized puddles.
Did some spring cleaning of the hard drive and came across this batch from a dreamy time in Sackville a couple of summers ago. I can only tell what year it is based on the outfits and the haircuts. By the looks of it, I must have only had my 50mm on me. The camera becomes more portable but the framing becomes uncharacteristically tight. A nice reminder of the colours and lightness of my Maritime times. And how beautiful August feels no matter where you are.
It’ll be a few weeks still before collarbones are exposed & I plan to remain patiently impatient until then.
P.S. Here are some even older shots (on film!) from SappyFest 6 ❤
These are my favourite accounts that I began following in 2014. Thank you for sharing!
Beautiful aggregated collection of tiles & shoes.
Architect’s POV of construction, demolition, composition and the Atlantic coast.
Bizarre and intriguing. Weird and well-executed.
Simple and special.
Things organized neatly. OCD made A-OK.
Illustrated packing lists & adorable sketches.
Only just found out Stacey Baker is the Associate Photo Editor at New York Times.
Portraiture in pieces.
Lots of love,
I realized recently that I never posted these shots from an apartment shoot I did with Maggie MacCormick from her collection Her & I. I am really excited about the beautiful pieces that Maggie has been pumping out these days and am so happy to see her getting recognition for her hard work & undeniable talent. You can see some photos of her working on these pieces in her NSCAD studio in this earlier post.
Keep your eye on this young designer!
Clothing: Maggie J. MacCormick
Jewellery: Sarah A. Sears
Models: Sarah Sears, Hannah Sears, Taylor Hickling
A lot has happened since I last posted. I moved back to Montreal, started working at Concordia University and underwent the beautiful process of creating the project BODY OF WATER with my partner Veronica Simmonds.
The idea was hatched last year, after our short film WAVE LENGTHS was projected at Nocturne last year. We secured some funding from HRM Public Arts, and later Arts Nova Scotia, so that we could expand on our water-themed experiments and baptized our partnership part & parcel. We knew we wanted to work together again and make something in a different form than what we had made previously. We daydreamed about the lake from our temporary studio on Cornwallis and decided to focus our project on our most loved bodies of water. Lake life is the best freakin’ thing that Halifax has going for it. If you feel like going for a swim in the summertime, and don’t wanna make the trek to the ocean, there are so many gorgeous lakes within a super-short drive (or bike ride if you’ve got the legs and the guts) from the peninsula – many of them on crown land and without any development.
From the get-go we knew that we didn’t want to attempt to make a linear film, and were both attracted to the idea of creating an interactive website using parallax web design. We recruited the incredible Lukas Steinman to help us bring our vision to life. I can’t recommend Lukas highly enough! He was so receptive to our ideas and created a seamless product with all our various pieces of media and ambitious directions. All the while we used the mantra “this isn’t a map to the lake, but a snap of the lake.”
We invited illustrator Rebecca Roher onto our team because of her incredible sense of colour and her ability to capture the fluidity & majesty of the natural world. She met us in Nova Scotia in August and joined us on excursions to the lake during our production phase. She created our beloved logo and we incorporated her illustrations into our parallax website in order to help tie our media together, as well as a way to add levity and imagination to the final product. If you want to see more of her work, I’d recommend ordering something from her Etsy shop so you can own it forever! She is currently acquiring her Masters at The Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont.
During Nocturne 2013, V and I watched WAVE LENGTHS for six hours straight and didn’t hate it by the end of it. 99% of that had to do with the gorgeous soundtrack that was created by composer Alex Melnyk. For that project, we threw a barrage of adjectives at him to kickstart his composing. “Bubbly! Repetitive! Meditative! Gurgly! Flowing! Floaty!” For this project, we wanted to work more closely with him. V created a rough audio track of interview excerpts and Alex composed on top of it, creating five separate and beautiful pieces that perfectly matched the tone of each one. The instruments you hear throughout the piece are his Rhodes piano, autoharp and glockenspiel. We are so lucky to know this guy.
Many other talented folks who lent their skills, voices and bodies to this undertaking. Thank you to all the friends and strangers who helped us along the way; especially Kira, Annie, Jude, Casey, Eva, Nick, Sophia, Rosalyn, Becca, Jayme and Zolk. And HUGE thanks to Jamie Maclennan from HRM, Enrique Ferreol at Arts NS, and the gang at CFAT. We honestly couldn’t have done it without ya! Halifax is the best place to approach people with a bizarre idea and have everyone offer to contribute in some way.
Okay! So we made some art on the internet. How could we show it to an audience in a live setting? This is what we wrestled with for a while. Me & V had a half-cracked idea to project our project onto the mist of the fountain in Commons. That would have been INCROYABLE – but for sanity’s sake, we decided to save that idea for another year. What did end up happening, which was equally amazing was that Jacinte Armstrong came on board, totally enthusiastic about our project and with great ideas about how to bring the screening to life. She recruited Rhonda Baker and Kathleen Doherty into the mix and here was the result.
You know who else was vital to this whole thing going down? Hannah Guinan. She is the new director of the Khyber Centre for the Arts at their new location on Cornwallis Street and she is doing a BAD-ASS job! We are so grateful to the Khyber and Hannah for being our gracious hosts for the event. The Khyber needs your support as much now as ever – so get a membership, stay informed and make a donation to help keep this institution afloat. I’ll leave you with some photos taken at the launch by Brandon Toomey. You can see the full set here.
And V – goddamn goddamn! This woman is driven & hard-working & SUCH a hilarious nut. She lovingly and supportively pushed me to see this thing through and made the whole damn thing FUN! She is a really solid communicator and an incredible project manager. Find her, follow her and give her all your money.
I had the great pleasure of working on the STACK STORIES project with my great friend and collaborator Veronica Simmonds. She set up shop in the Spring Garden Library for a month and invited the patrons of the library to share stories and memories of the building. She then selected 16 of the best stories and I got to meet these sweet people and take their portraits. Go check out the website and click around. Way to go V!