“Texture is the most enduring and ubiquitous
underpinning of form...certainly a calming, meditative,
and appealing world for both the eye and mind.”
- Lynda Lehmann, American Artist and Photographer
“The texture of experience is prior to everything else.”
- Willem de Kooning, Dutch-American Artist
Last Friday, my dear friend Elizabeth and I spent the morning with our cameras at the Loch Sloy Business Park in Picton, Ontario. Elizabeth and I have been friends for almost fifty years, experiencing many of life’s joys and challenges together. We have been intending to go on a photography expedition with each other for a long time and Friday was the day - the first of many, I hope.
My friendship with Elizabeth is deeply textured and rooted in shared values, a love of the arts, and warped humour. We have discovered over the years that when life sends you a cow patty, the best response is a good laugh. We are at different stages in our photographic journeys: Elizabeth is returning to her camera after an absence of some years, and I still feel like the new kid in the candy shop.
At the same time as anticipating my excursion with Elizabeth, I’ve been thinking a lot about textures and how important they have become in my photography. Frequently, it is not the large, panoramic picture that grabs my attention, but the tiny, telling detail that calls out to me. And that tiny, telling detail is often surrounded by a texture that provides both context and dynamism. A bit like the texture of my friendship with Elizabeth. I hope the photos that follow reflect the depth and complexity of my friendship with Elizabeth.
About the Loch Sloy Business Park: it is a photographer’s dream, ideal for finding the textures and details that my camera enjoys so much.
Loch Sloy is the former Camp Picton, built in 1940 as part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in World War Two. Thousands of Canadian, British, and American pilots were trained here before being sent overseas. After the war, it became a Canadian Army base, closing in 1969. Its six large hangars and many barracks and support buildings are a Canadian treasure trove. The current owners of Loch Sloy have lovingly restored many of the buildings and rent them to many businesses and individuals. A few of the buildings are slowly deteriorating and sagging gracefully back into the earth. To return to the theme of textures, walking through Loch Sloy is not only taking a step back in time, it is also a visual delight.
Most of the photos that follow are from Loch Sloy. They show buildings in an advance state of decay, but they are not representative of the majority of buildings that are well maintained and occupied.
Side note: photographers are welcome at Loch Sloy, but they must register at the Loch Sloy offices near the entrance of the site to sign a liability waiver and receive guidelines for their visit.
Two of the other ‘textured’ photos in this posting were recorded a few kilometres west of Picton in Wellington, but they fit in nicely with the photos from Loch Sloy. The remaining photo was recorded at the Husky Station on Dundas Street East, Belleville, near our home.
Loch Sloy Roof
Loch Sloy Barrack Wall
Loch Sloy Window 1
Loch Sloy Weed
Loch Sloy Window 2
Loch Sloy Window 3
Garlic from Thyme Again Gardens at the Wellington Market
Fence behind Pierson's IGA in Wellington
Detail of rear wall of the Husky Gas Station, Dundas Street East, Belleville