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InQuarries is the title of this series of oil on giclee photographs that resulted from a visit I made to gravel pits in rural Ontario. It is a hidden world, encircled by landscaped berms that block the public’s view. In the gravel pit itself, men were ‘amending’ the landscape with trucks and loaders like children playing in a big sandbox. My work unveils this hidden world and plays with this idea by painting large scale pails and shovels and other toys into the scene.
The placing of these items in the scene has turned these gravel pits into abandoned sandboxes. The idea of innocence, first with the use of toys and second, our innocence of this practice as it is hidden from us is established with this juxtaposition. Playing with scale mirrors the scale and impact of some gravel pits on the landscape.
The images were developed within Photoshop for composition purposes only. Once a final decision was made on composition, the objects were turned into stencils that were placed directly onto the print, traced and then the area was filled in using a white masking fluid. Finally the objects were painted in oil within the confines of the masked area. Shadows and reflections were painted directly in oil on the print. I liked the idea of a strictly hand crafted image on the digital image. At one time a photograph was evidence of the truth. This is no longer the case. My overt manipulation of the print comments on this and once again mirrors the ‘human touch’ that is happening in the gravel pits.
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