setting up in stratford
My third solo show, A Four Year Survey at the Stratford Art Gallery (1975) was the first chance to exhibit several series of works in large, adjacent spaces. At the time, it felt like a daunting undertaking but, in reality, it was a great opportunity. The installation required a second pair of hands so friend and artist Doug Kirton, a NSCAD University student at the time, agreed to be that second pair of hands and, from time to time, picked up the camera.
My earlier Pie in the Sky experience prompted me to document behind-the-scene activity. At the time however, I had no reason to anticipate a use for such documentation until recently I discovered an envelope stuffed with contact sheets - no negatives, just contact sheets - and decided to incorporate the images into this website.
These small images serve to record a number of works for which no other record exists. Unfortunately, my interest in visual documentation was not accompanied by an equal capacity to maintain a comprehensive written record. Ironically, the efficient card- catalogue I started in 1969 accompanied by colour transparencies had given way to a rudimentary computer database. The digital documentation phase began around 1982 with the promise of greater efficiency. However, such efficiency disappeared when technological compatibility became an issue. I switched platforms effectively trashing the original data base. (This had never been a problem when new file cards were needed). My Radio Shack TRS 80 served me well for about five years but the transition to a Mac Classic proved to be the kiss of death to the earlier information. In a small way, this page is an attempt at recovery: a sifting and organizing of numerous, equally incompatible storage devices: envelopes, cds, Zip and floppy discs..
Here, the only two negatives that were printed and saved as 8x10s.
When I began to organise this page, I thought that no more black and white documentation of the Stratford exhibition existed. Then, another contact sheet emerged from yet another envelope providing a black and white record of the finished product.