Leven Links and retaining wall(dis)regard
 explores the notion of transition in the built environment and sense of place through the lens of three communities in Fife, Scotland transformed by socioeconomic change, loss of industry and, in some cases, population changes such as out-migration. I am continuously drawn to the effects of change on the built environment and the evidence of past histories. This work was created in Leven, Methil and Buckhaven. My intention was to investigate everyday areas and in-between spaces that have fallen into disuse, or have been re-invented and reveal efforts of regeneration.

As an outsider to this area, I am also interested in the notion of place: “Places have influenced my life as much as, perhaps more than, people. I fall for (or into) places faster and less conditionally than I do for people.” Lucy Lippard, Lure of the Local (1997). Whether as a local or an outsider, I have always experienced a strong emotional response to place. Strangely, it’s often the memories triggered by new places that make me feel connected to unfamiliar surroundings—which I seek to represent and communicate through my work.


School Lane

selected learning

When Canada’s one-room schools gave way to centralized schools, there was a shift in our communities: in how we were taught, in where and how we came together as a community, and in the physical landscape of our hometowns and cities. These schools, built at the turn of the Twentieth Century, have a unique presence within the architectural composition of the Atlantic Region. Each school is singular in its details, yet a commonality exists among them. These structures speak to our notions of “community” and reflect the present as much as they reveal the past. While some communities have raised money to renovate and revere the local heritage they see in their schools, others have engaged in urban camouflage: turning the schools into condominiums, offices and public spaces, or simply leaving them neglected and forgotten.


Leona Burke-statement


My interest in memory, change and absence—of noticing what is gone and what has been left behind—is explored in memento. This series focuses on the historical practice of saving hair—a tradition in many cultures—to connect to the soul or to remember an ancestor. In memento, I have photographed these extensions of the body that have been saved as a kind of souvenir, or memory. The hair physically exists and represents the absence of a person, whether dead or alive. The decision to print the 4×5” film as P.O.P (Printing Out Paper) contact prints, a process developed in the late Nineteenth Century, is intended to complement the timelessness of the practice of saving hair.





forts behind my house


As a child, I grew up in Topsail, Newfoundland, within a ten-minute walk of the Atlantic Ocean. Many days were spent exploring the barren coastline and the roads and trails in my community. Trace explores my ongoing relationship with this landscape over the 25 years since I left it. My childhood memories act as a framework to approach the idea of sense of place and my relationship with the landscape of Newfoundland.

The photographs themselves are also shaped by this environment: All processing is done on-site using a portable darkroom. The images are made using the wet-plate collodion process to produce glass negatives. The introduction of the elements of the environment such as local water (rather than distilled), changes in temperature and humidity, or rain falling on a coated plate, all affect the chemical reactions that are integral to the process—resulting in physical imprints on an image such as cracking, crystallization, and voids. These unpredictable elements that interrupt the landscape’s image are just as important as the place itself: like memory and emotion, they shape how a place is seen or known.