Artist statement: Consumed
Consumed is a visual survey of the dramatic presence of newly built warehouses in the landscapes of Southern Ontario West of Toronto. Like much of my work, this series documents places in a state of change.
As the population of Toronto grows, spreading further into outlying areas, I have witnessed and photographed farmland lost to housing and retail developments, and, more recently, to vast warehouses. Built to accommodate an increased demand for consumer goods, these warehouses store everything from dollar store trinkets to packaged foods in the journey these products make from wherever they were created to wherever they will be used. Where we once consumed food produced by the land we now consume land to satisfy our insatiable hunger for products.
The formal aesthetic of the series grounds the photographs as documentary. The objective visual approach creates a typology of their common physical characteristics. My intention is to both engage and redirect viewers in considering the impact of consumerism. These photographs also support the idea that photography is at once a statement of truth and a lie. Taken as portraits, the lighting and backdrop in some of the photographs present the warehouses in a flattering, and perhaps misleading, light. Majestic in scale, the warehouses in Consumed are intruders in the landscape. We can only hope, that the products inside are essential enough to merit such a profound alteration of the landscape from agricultural use to a place to store things. Rather than proselytize on the environmental consequences of consumerism, this series presents the stark and arresting visual qualities of these buildings and their altered landscapes. The viewer is left to interpret their meaning and significance and perhaps to marvel at their sublime beauty.
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