31 December 2011 – My daughter and I took my son back to Edmonton to return him to his University of Alberta dorm at Lister Hall on December 30, 2011. The trip allowed for vehicle maintenance at West Edmonton Hyundai, two festive meals with my father, brothers and our families; it allowed my daughter four days with her favourite cousin and for me, time with my son, father and our extended family. At different times on December 31st, I was able to break away from the day’s agenda and photograph Edmonton architecture – not quite a full and satisfying photowalk, but something to whet my appetite for photographing downtown Edmonton.
Edmonton’s High Level bridge is the subject of the first set of shots. At the bridge, while waiting for my son, before a morning family meal out, I was able to photograph the railway deck leading onto the bridge from the south. I was intrigued by the leading lines of the road and walkway leading from the bridge on its south side. The bridge’s rail deck is secure from people who would like to walk along it – good! And, I am interested in the photograph of the rail deck taken by the Edmonton Photowalk group led by Darlene Hildebrandt on October 1, 2011. In returning from the bridge to my vehicle, to go and retrieve my son, I was also able to photograph Edmonton’s Saskatchewan drive as it leads past the University of Alberta’s Arts building and Hub Mall – a memorable place from my past at the University of Alberta. I met W.O. Mitchell between these buildings late on a Saturday afternoon in the fall of 1981 after a 12-string guitar lesson at Hub Mall’s Guitar Classique and guided him to the South entrance of the University’s Arts building for a talk he would provide to Canadian literature students.
Later, in the late afternoon of December 31st, I was able to briefly photograph some of Edmonton’s architecture – new and old, buildings close to the Boardwalk and EPSB’s Centre High school. I was caught up in the older architecture and advertising painted onto exterior walls as well as the reflective dynamic of newer building’s mirrored exteriors. The Edmonton I grew up in has become something more incredible and futuristic, something only dreamt of by former Mayors. The final shot (the first shot in the series) is at the east end of the Edmonton downtown core, a older building dating back to perhaps the forties or thirties, a pie-shaped building of four stories, reminiscent of a former age, something my mother and her brothers would have grown up in. I like the brickwork and lighting of this picture and hope to return to photograph this building in a variety of ways.
Quote to Inspire: “I am not interested in color for color’s sake and light for light’s sake. I am interested in them as a means of expression (Robert Henri ~ ‘The Art Spirit’).”
Listening to Unraveling, by Liz Longley on Hot Loose Wire; a song with shared connection and reminiscence – a family member beset with Alzheimer’s ( for Liz this was her grandmother; for me this is my father, the originating photographer in the family I grew up in).