Coulterville, Ontario - 2009
What this is...
Afternoon sunlight on a long abandoned barn.
*What else it is...
The change of our society and how we look upon food.
Not long ago, farmers were respected as an essential part of the world in which we live. But in my life-time alone, we have forgotten how food is grown, where it comes from and the fact that there are real people involved in the process.
We view food as a commodity, something which will "just be there" the next time we walk into our local super-centre. Something that somebody else makes, somewhere else, and we buy it like any other consumer good. Somehow we have forgotten the farms and farmers who are responsible for what's inside the neatly wrapped packages that fill the bulk of these 90,000 sq. ft. fluorescent cornucopias. A drive in the country tells the tale of this change, farms which sustained families and agriculture for generations are sold to land-developers and left to rot only to be eventually converted from valuable farmland into suburban wasteland. And while another local source of food vanishes with little more than an obscure foot-note in history, our dependancy on foreign food supplies and the fossil fuels that bring them to us inceases by another notch.
Eventually we will awaken to the reality of this folly... but in a country such as Canada with such a small percentage of arable land, I wonder how long we can afford to slumber.
*Part of a quote I've recently discovered (which I absolutely adore) attributed to the photographer Minor White: "Don't tell me what it is... tell me what else it is."