Fri, Mar 01|
Southampton Art Gallery
Devon Watton - Belonging
Twenty Years of Making Bruce County Home Photography by DEVON WATTON Curated by JENN McLAUGHLIN
Time & Location
Mar 01, 2024, 12:00 p.m. – Mar 30, 2024, 4:00 p.m.
Southampton Art Gallery, 201 High St, Southampton, ON N0H 2L0, Canada
About the event
My photography throughout my life has taken many paths of study and practice of most genres and various formats. I once dreamt of being a war photographer and following in the footsteps of Robert Capa - not the exact footsteps mind you, he stepped on a landmine in Vietnam. I dabbled in portrait photography and took a course when I was younger, but now my C-stands and lights collect dust and might come out once a year.
I once woke before the birds and crawled through swamps and mud, like a worm or Navy Seal, to catch the morning rituals of local wildlife kissed by the morning light. I played with architecture but there are too many "rules" and straight lines, and I am far from being any of those players ( does one correct the tilt of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in post?)
I was once awed by sunsets and lighthouses, but I've taken that photo. I occasionally go towards the water, but it is in search of a Killer Whale attacking a Polar Bear, and since I have yet to find that in Southampton harbour, I still do take the occasional oddly composed photo of our notorious lighthouse and range lights.
I once lived in Beautiful British Columbia where I never got tired or lost interest in the landscape, but once I moved here, my cameras quickly became forgotten after I took the compulsory tourist photos. The landscape bored me. Where were the mountains and old-growth trees? I felt trapped, like the cows behind barbed wire, everywhere I looked. Slowly, in the twenty years I have lived here, I have grown to embrace the landscape and have fallen in love with it, much like the Group of Seven did. Cows and horses are easy targets behind barbed wire and usually come running towards me, unlike those skittish birds and deer. I can spend hours talking to and petting my friends Angus and Sir Loin and usually ask them permission to take their photos, and of course, they never object. I love farmland photography and never tire of a Combine Tractor harvesting a field in the setting sun( lol, these are MY lighthouses).
Lately, however, with the price of gas, I could not justify these journeys in search of a winding farm road, a dilapidated farmhouse or a beautiful John Deere tractor in a field of barley or corn. Photography, after all, is just a hobby for me. So, now I walk the mean streets of Saugeen Shores day and night trying to embrace the likes of Eggleston and Shore or Saul Leiter or Fred Herzog, trying to find the beauty in the mundane or banal. Do you know how difficult it is to do small-town street photography?
Anyhow, my photography has taken this journey by happenstance or by necessity, and I am quite enjoying this direction I have taken...so far.
Hope you enjoy it!
Devon Watton - Photographer
MEET THE ARTIST and CURATOR
Public Reception - ALL WELCOME!
SAT MAR 9
12 pm - 2 pm
Light refreshments served.