CONTACT Photo Fest: Turf

April 1-May 14 2019​ |Opening Reception May 2

Darren Calabrese, Carl MacNeil, Dinao MacCormick, Chad Tobin, Steve Wadden

A collaborative exhibition of fictional, documentary, and contemplative photographs exploring literal and abstract concepts of home. It combines selections from ongoing personal projects of five Canadian photographers from the East Coast who comprise the Hot Fog Collective.

On a spectrum between place and feeling, individual meanings of home emerge. Turf asks how the individual shapes the place, and how the place shapes the individual.

The artists illustrate relationships with land, identity, community, and changing geographic and social landscapes. While raising questions about intuition and perception, they imagine home as a sense of being and creative process as a means of transportation.

Curated by Hot Fog Collective

Darren Calabrese

Turf 02

Atlantic Canadians are a coastal people. Living on the periphery, we are connected through our relationship with the sea – an existence that is both isolating and freeing. The tensions of living off the sea have long existed, but today the region is suffering through an historically high rate of unemployment that is forcing many to fight to hold onto their livelihoods, communities, and identity. This is a movement full of stories that, in concert, are both stark and life-affirming. Calabrese works to explore the relationships and communities formed along the eastern coastlines, which he believes are a pathway not only to our history, but to our future.

Carl MacNeil

Turf 04

Motivated by a deep affection for his hometown, MacNeil makes photographs that serve as a visual record for a place that seems suspended in time, but is slowly and inevitably changing. His peculiar and lonely images of homes, local businesses, parked cars and abandoned objects show his unique perspective on how Cape Bretoner’s live — highlighting an East Coast charm that balances pride and humility with a good sense of humour.

Dinao MacCormick

Turf 06

For Dinao, photography is a dependable companion; a grounding practice. The photographs tell an alternative story running alongside her daily life, both distant and intimate. She seeks to catch the moment a daydream appears, when the banal recedes for an instant to allow an opening in the imagination. This process brings the artist into her surroundings, becoming a home she can find anywhere.

Chad Tobin

Turf 08

Tobin, a budding street photographer inspired by the likes of Bruce Gilden and Daidō Moriyama, was lured across the ocean by the neon glow of Tokyo in the summer of 2015. It was there he set out on a month-long whirlwind, fuelled by the exotic and a new found anonymity only a big city can offer — a stark contrast to his daily life in rural Cape Breton. Like a fox in a henhouse he worked around the clock, making fast friends of complete strangers in crowded streets, open parks, dark alleyways and taboo night clubs. The resulting photographs celebrate the beauty of fleeting connections in moments of chaos and unnerving stillness, in tension and release.

Steve Wadden

Turf 10

With the full moon as its main protagonist, this photo story reimagines myths of creation, fertility, transformation and consciousness. Here, Wadden creates his own alternative reality, working late into the night while his family sleeps — a product of necessity that allows him to balance artistic desire with home life and career. Surrendering to a primitive sense of self, he combines abstract, fictional and documentary photographs that delve into his own wonder, joy and fear of becoming a father. Selene was inspired by the birth of his son on a full moon in the summer of 2016.

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