Monday, April 9, 2012

Anthony Redpath Q&A out recently in National Post

British Columbia is a beautiful place, but the sights that most appeal to Vancouver photographer Anthony Redpath aren't ones you'd see on a postcard. For the past few years, Redpath has been trying to pay homage to the blue-collar side of Pacific coast life in his large, meticulous prints.

With an exhibition on at the Rooms in St. John's, Redpath talked with me about the decline of the fishing industry, the rise of ecotourism and the buildings that tell the tale of both.

The resulting condensed Q&A was published in last Thursday's National Post. An excerpt:

Q How did you get into photography and art in the first place, given that you worked in the national parks in your twenties?

A One of my influences would be my parents; my dad was an amateur photographer. In addition to that, he used to draw a lot; he's an architect.

Plus my mom's a landscape architect. I spent a lot of time looking over their drawings when I was kid. The buildings I photograph are often broken-down structures. They're not great architectural works, but I try to find something in them that's interesting.

Q What else would you like viewers to know about these photographs?

A Probably that these buildings reflect the socioeconomic status of the region, as well as the climate. They wouldn't look like that in downtown Vancouver, because they wouldn't exist; they'd be torn down because the land is too expansive. If they were in the prairies, they wouldn't have the same textures in terms of the paint and surfaces; the air would be too dry. These are buildings that really speak about a place. And I do this work because of an attachment to that place, I guess.

(Image of Anthony Redpath's Trailer Park Party courtesy the artist)

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