setting up in Stratford
While my third solo show, A Four Year Survey at the Stratford Art Gallery (1975) was my first chance to exhibit several series of works in large, adjacent spaces. At the time, it felt like a daunting undertaking but I recognised it to be 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.
The earlier Pie in the Sky experience prompted me to document behind-the-scene activity; although I had no reason to anticipate a use for such documentation until recently when 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 also serve as a record of 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 gave way to a rudimentary computer database. This digital documentation phase was started around 1982 with the promise of greater efficiency. However, such efficiency was lost when digital compatibility became an issue. I switched platforms and the data base was effectively trashed. (This had never been a problem when new file cards were needed). My first computer, a Radio Shack TRS 80, worked hard for about five years but the transition to its replacement, a Mac Classic, proved to be the kiss of death to the earlier record. In a small way, this page is an attempt at recovery: a sifting and organizing of numerous seemingly unconnected envelopes, cds, Zip and floppy discs..
Here, the only two negatives that were printed and saved as 8x10s.
When I began to organise and write 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.