With the Whyte Museum

In 2000 I was invited by the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff, Alberta to photographically explore the Rogers Pass area along with four other photographers, a curator and a writer.

The theme of this expedition was the poetry of long-time Banff resident Jon Whyte, who died in 1992. More than capturing the landscapes of the Canadian Rockies, Jon ‘worked at rescuing those landscapes from beneath the layers of cliché that make it difficult to see them in a fresh or even visionary way.’*

The question of what defines ‘place’ is significant in my work. This expedition was a terrific opportunity to explore and reinterpret the landscape of the Canadian Rockies. For the first time I used colour 120 film in a pinhole camera and printed the images in the darkrooms at the Banff Centre of Visual Arts. This was in the year 2000 and the new technique marks a big evolution in my work. I also experimented with a series of overlapping sequential images of the mountain landscape using a Holga plastic medium format camera. The structural format of these works relate strongly to Jon Whyte’s Technopaegnia (concrete poetry) poetic style–words that form visual images.

*Vandervlist, Harry. Jon Whyte, Mind Over Mountains: Selected and Collected Poems. Calgary: Red Deer Press, 2000: v.