These photographs are part of an on-going project entitled You Seem To Be Where I Belong.
This is a personal survey of contemporary Canada as I encounter it. Peering around unassuming corners and down quiet roads, these images present an unexpected view on how our sometimes out-of-date and sometimes out-of-place occupation of the Canadian landscape connects and brings us together as a society.
Having grown up in a small town in Northern Ontario, these images recall memories of my childhood, when the ideology of the landscape and built environment was not always based on something new, well-designed, or planned.
In this work I am investigating the notions of place, identity and memory in Canada, through representations of human presence and activity in disparate geographic locations and built environments. Through these images I am attempting to uncover the ways in which our relationships to our environments define who we are both individually, and as a society.
At its essence, this body of work is a reflection on the Canadian landscape and small town life – laying bare a country that is in one light authentic and charming, and in another troubled and enigmatic.
– Jason Brown, Toronto, Canada
These photographs are part of a series entitled Alone Together, which tells the story of the expansion of Highway 69 in Ontario, Canada.
I have been travelling along Highway 69 for as long as I can remember. As a child, the highway served as a memorable – if otherwise predictable – stretch of road during family trips down to Southern Ontario. Today, I use Highway 69 for much the same reason, but travel in the opposite direction. Since living in Toronto, Ontario, my trips along 69 are now “up north,” and while the road still steers me towards my destination, today, it is far from the predictable stretch of highway experienced in my youth.
For more than a decade, Highway 69 has been undergoing a systematic expansion and widening from a two-lane highway to a full four-lane freeway. Alone Together looks at the natural, economic, social and cultural challenges faced in trying to expand a 75-year old highway along which both communities and nature have long settled. The series imparts views on the physical effects of the expansion on the environment and landscape, the economic effects on small municipalities, villages and First Nation Communities, and the social effects on both the local residents of these places and those that pass through them.
– Jason Brown, Toronto, Canada
hide began as a commentary on Wisconsin’s hunting tradition, using deer stands as a visual motif. When my sudden cancer diagnosis interrupted the project, hide took on a more personal meaning. I was inspired on drives through Wisconsin by deer stands, and began asking hunters about them. Some described building stands for the next generation, especially sons who would inherit the land. I was anticipating the birth of my own son and thinking about my legacy to him, so this idea resonated strongly with me. Others emphasized that the stands did not represent violence, but oneness with nature and time spent with their children. I wanted these photographs to capture that serenity. When I was diagnosed with leukemia in 2011, my work on hide was put on hold. I was 32 with a 3-month-old baby at home. Having to face mortality so unexpectedly made me come back to the project with a new perspective on the ideas of permanence and impermanence, legacies and family, and accepting change.
— Jason Vaughn, Madison, Wisconsin, USA
During the Great Depression, the U.S. government built three planned communities of Greenbelt, Maryland; Greenhills, Ohio; and Greendale, Wisconsin.
In photographing these “Greenbelt Towns,” I explore the New Deal vision to resettle displaced farmers and poor urban dwellers in model cities which unified the best elements of “town” and “country.”
I create an evocation of utopia as a place and idea in the American mind, while examining how this vision plays out in the contemporary moment.
I draw inspiration for my work from my curiosity in power structures and urban planning, in order to explore the complex relationship between humans, nature, and the built environment.
— Jason Reblando