This portrait accompanied my Galleries West review of Jay Cabalu’s wonderful show Extra! at On Main Gallery, curated by Paul Wong. We met up at The Crescent in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood of Vancouver and did a walkabout in the arboretum, which remains an under utilized park in what was once the home to our great colonial coal barons and thieves.
These are the new official portraits of Early Music Vancouver’s concert master Chloe Meyers. She’s appeared with EMV many times over the years but these are the official portraits in advance of the 2022 Bach Festival. If you’ve not attended any of their concerts they are some of the most diverse among all the city’s music presenters. Check out their events at:
I’ve done many portraits of BC author/legend George Bowering over the years but this one was a little different. Asked by the publisher to think “So you want it darker?” (in reference to Leonard Cohen’s final album) I had George ascend the stage at the legendary Penthouse Nightclub for a kind of dark stand-up look to introduce a new collection of essays. Last Essays was the working title but I prefer it for this image which, if you know George’s usual broad smile for the camera is kind of funny…in a dry way! I used the font Landmark (recently used for Friends of Chamber Music’s poster campaign) because it had the right kind of “showbiz” feel.
I really enjoy working for Friends of Chamber Music and designing each season’s posters and digital advertising content. This year has been no exception! I pulled back a little bit from last season’s more abstract approach to include hints of instruments. The main display font is Landmark which seems to me to combine a hint of a neon showbiz with solid tradition.
Sometimes I like to share travel photos. This one is a recent favourite taken on a trip to Alert Bay. If you know anything about the history of the Kwakwaka’wakw people you know of their incredible artistry. This magnificent memorial pole to Billie Moon, was carved in 1931 by Willie and Joe Seaweed and still stands in the original ‘Namgis burial grounds. It is a required visit if you are anywhere near the north island. The power and beauty of these poles when the mists inevitably roll in on a summer afternoon is sure to put you in a reflective state.
Also worth visiting is the Alert Bay Biological Reserve. Here is a video I made using footage shot there during the summer of 2018. It weds well with a piece of music from Japanese ambient music composer Chihei Hatakeyama’s CD Mist.
To learn more, visit the U’mista Cultural Centre:
This is my latest work for Vancouver’s premier chamber music presenter: Friends of Chamber Music, now in their 71st season! In addition to the street posters I’ve created a new, more abstract look that foregrounds the group and repertoire info for a series of lightbox ads. Placed in backlit vertically mounted screens at the city’s theatres, people often watch these turn over several times. Highly effective! You’re probably wondering where the photography is in all this. It’s there. I designed these around images I made from paint store sample strips. The composition and feel comes from an appreciation of 20th century abstract painting…and even Brian Eno’s light sculptures/installations of the 80s and 90s.
In the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to meet and photograph some of my favourite visiting artists who record for the ECM label in Germany. They’ve also been some of my favourite portrait sessions and I use the occasion to write about and highlight their new releases and concert appearances on my personal blog and on social media. I thought I’d post a few here. Upper left is the awesome trumpet player Avishai Cohen prior to headlining the Chutzpah Festival. Upper right is one of my favourite cellists; Anja Lechner, photographed at the Seattle Art Museum. Lower left is Simin Tander who was here for the Jazz Fest after a stunning performance at Christ Church Cathedral. Finally, lower right, a percussionist with few peers; Thomas Strønen, photographed at Ironworks prior to a recent Jazz Fest engagement.
I really enjoyed doing the CD cover for the new release by Vancouver’s premiere saxophone quartet; Saxophilia. It provided a rare opportunity to use a display typeface designed by my friends Marian Bantjes and Ross Mills. Of course, while doing the photography I had some poster-friendly variations in mind for the inevitable CD release concert.
Here is a selection of CD covers I’ve provided imagery for in the last year. In the upper right is a CD I also designed utilizing my friend Marian Bantjes’ ornate display face “Restraint”.
In April of this year, Haida artist Jim Hart finally oversaw the raising of one of the most important poles in modern Canadian history. The Reconciliation Pole recognizes the Residential School experience of Canada’s First Nations and serves as a beacon, prominently placed, to allow reflection, prompt discussion and move us all forward on the subject of our shared histories.
This was a very moving event and something people will remember for the rest of their lives. I shot this series for the VR Media site (www.vancouverreviewmedia.com) where more images from the day can be seen. While I’m not often an “event photographer”, I knew this day was special.