I’m a writer, photographer and walker
exploring landscape, perception and memory.

Handcrafted web design
for creative professionals

My design work My writing

Writing   ·   Design

New Book!

Optic Nerve

Recent Projects

Distancing on the Lachine Canal

Between Seasons on the North Head Trail

Recent Publications

Hard Ticket: New Writing Made in Newfoundland
Best Kind: New Writing Made in Newfoundland

Selected Projects

A House By the Water

A House By The Water is an exhibition of work I made during a summer residency at The Rooms in St. John’s. I set out to explore the changing architectural landscape of Newfoundland. How has the way people inhabit the island changed, and what does this reveal about our relationship to it? How does the history of a place change how we see it?

A digital projection shows lavish suburban homes tumbling into the ocean, one after another. These kinds of houses have sprung up all over the island, occupying hillsides, jostling for the best view. They often seem comically oversized, almost surreal, as if they’re meant to be somewhere else. Dream homes.

Dwall consists of beachworn bricks suspended in midair. In making this piece, I’d set out to find an artifact that had been eroded by the water, some evidence of a lasting architectural presence or authenticity. As it turns out, these bricks are not very old, dating from the Smallwood era, but they’re already falling apart, clay crumbling back into earth.

I came across the word dwall in Wayne Johnston’s The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, where Smallwood says “to dwall was to spend a night neither asleep nor awake, but somewhere in between. I at last had a single word to describe how I almost always slept.” Dwall, to me, suggests an intentional unconsciousness, an understanding while pretending not to understand, which is perhaps a common strategy when coping with drastic change.

I began to realize that my project wasn’t about houses, but the space between the houses, their relationship to each other and the surrounding land. It was about communities, sustainability, potential futures. It’s about how building patterns and desires reflect larger societal changes. It’s about small moments, like light glinting off waves, and larger concerns, like rising ocean levels.

In the video A City By The Sea, light glittering in ocean waves takes the shape of tiny houses. When making this work I was thinking about older ways of building on the land. Rural vernacular architecture has a kind of lightness, as described by Robert Mellin in Newfoundland Modern: Architecture in the Smallwood Years

“The houses and outbuildings of Newfoundland’s numerous coastal settlements had a temporary, fragile, and even nomadic character in form, construction, materials, and use, requiring frequent maintenance, rebuilding, and relocation. Many of these buildings appeared to perch tentatively on the land without changing it, leaving no traces when they were moved or abandoned.”

A single photograph, Remarkable Views of Bridges in Various Provinces (after Hokusai), bridges this installation work with my practice of walking, writing and making photographs. I often work with computers and code, but my thinking patterns are discursive, drawn from wandering and finding things. A House By The Water was at The Rooms from Oct. 2015 – Jan. 2016, and the projections were shown in the 2017 Bonavista Biennale.


The Garbage Poems