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Above Ground: Mining Stories

March 6, 2004 - April 4, 2004


Curator:
Year 2004 Theme Photography

Organized by the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Art-and-industry historian Rosemary Donegan presents life on Canada’s industrialized frontiers by means of community-based commercial photography. The photographs date from the turn of the 19th century through the 1960s, and they show almost every aspect of mining life except the underground workings. The coast-to-coast coverage includes 1960s Glace Bay photographs by Leslie Shedden, from the NSCAD Archives.

As Donegan comments, “[Local commercial] photography shared many of the same attributes of prospecting, exploration and entrepreneurial zeal that characterized the development of mining in Canada.” Thus, while detached from the fine-art conventions of social documentary, the photographs by Shedden, Gushul and Hayashi respond with equal rigour to specific standards of authenticity and aesthetic value.