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No Roads

Stories are told and scenes are described. From an early age, I heard stories and descriptions of my father’s childhood home of Moosonee. How I imagined this place was always painted with family stories and romantic thoughts of Northern Ontario.

These images are of Moosonee and Moose Factory, towns that are still not connected to the road system and only accessible by train or plane. Located on the shores of the Moose River, they are at the northernmost point of the Ontario Northlander train route. Originally settled as fur trading posts, they grew in prominence with the arrival of the railway in 1932, as gateways to surrounding communities of many which were Cree settlements.

These images are taken from the perspective of an observer: walking the roads of these small towns, trying to make sense of what I was seeing and how I remembers it described to me. Unable to locate the areas on Google Street View, these images are personal substitutes. Each image is constructed from two photographic negatives taken from a view of the road looking out into the distance. These constructed panoramic views emphasize, with intense detail, all which is in front of me. With these images, I’m collecting everything that is seen. Documenting a place as it is now and giving structure and understanding to a place that was only imagined before. What a father remembers and a son sees may be two very different things.

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