Mother’s Prayer

Mother’s Prayers

Stories begin to tell themselves over the years. Here I have gathered pieces to tell you the story of my Mother and a piece of land she bought with my Father back in 1965, a year before I was born. Over the years it has become more difficult for her physically and financially. The foundation of the old house began to shift and with it its walls until things fall apart. In this work I explore physical, financial and emotional shifts as well as the persistence of the human spirit to continue to struggle for a future beyond our years.

Easter Celebration

Our Royal Victoria Hospital

 No two eyes see the same thing … I have examined re examined the Royal Victoria Hospital where I worked before the move to the Glen Site. Each day I saw the faces and corridors in a fresh light … our hospital was an extraordinary series of inter connected buildings and inter relationships. In this series of photographs I have chosen to focus on our work environment devoid of people, but in such a way you can still feel a human presence … our presence … we who worked and died there. It is our dwelling place no more … except in memory.

In Memoriam Howard Naud and Richard Thomas: The Royal Victoria Hospital Loves You!

This post is a tribute to my two colleagues and friends Howard Naud and Richard Thomas. These two young men who worked in the Receiving Dept of the Royal Victoria Hospital died recently at the Glen site within 2 weeks of each other. Neither got a chance to retire in the traditional sense of the the word. Howard was an honest and sensitive man; his kindness was felt by all who knew him. And, Richard Thomas was a real live wire! Always joking and telling funny stories; they echo in our ears still. These guys were full of life and they shared their energy with all of us. I was lucky to have worked with them and got a chance to take their portraits in the final days of the Royal Victoria Hospital. And during Howard’s last hours, I was there with him and his devoted and loving wife Yanny. Death, even when expected is always a surprise. As a photographer I witness life, death and everything in between. I have always felt it was my duty to record and share the world we live in. With that in mind, I want to introduce you all to these two incredible men of the Royal Victoria Hospital’s Receiving Department. And so I invite you all to step around back of the Royal Victoria Hospital. Enter through the back. The Receiving Door; walk down the corridor and see the faces we saw and knew. Howard and Richard, thank you for being there! You were a big part of us. We The Royal Victoria Hospital Love and Miss You Both. Rest Well my brothers. Love Michael

 

Mom! GrandMa Dynamite!

 With so much love I present this photo essay and tribute to my Mom. Happy Birthday! Cto Lat (100 years) To a woman who is an inspiration and comfort to so many … and an absolute GAZ!  Thank you mom for all you have taught me so much about life and photography … and so I offer this collection of images spanning from 2005 to 2017 (First Draft)… Enjoy!

South Korea Then

A very long over due post … from the days when I was living in South Korea. My film days, one of the reasons it has taken me awhile to revisit my negatives. All these pictures pre-date the year 2000 … which means this is my 20 th century version. Stay tuned as I venture back back into the archives and re-edit and select … all this as I prepare to go back to South Korea for a long over due visit! stay tuned … in the mean time here is an introduction to what hopefully will grow into a book … enjoy.

Cheers Michael

Fifth Sunday of Lent

For my architectural assignment I photographed the outside of St Brendan’s church here in Rosemont. For this assignment I contacted Father Paul to see if I could do my photo essay on him and his Parish. We arranged to meet at the rectory to meet and discuss the matter further. This past semester I have been contemplating and reaching out to the community around me in Rosemont, an area where I have lived since the age of 10. I attended St Brendan’s school and had done my confirmation at St Brendan’s church. In many ways although this is a story about Father Paul and St. Brendan’s church, it is also my story as I retrace my spiritual roots and rediscover the communities that I once attended and continue to flourish with the next generation.

When I met with Father Paul to introduce myself I told him that I had attended sporadically, and that was due to my Mother who wanted to make sure her grandchildren were exposed to the church community. What stood out for me was Father Paul’s charisma and how his sermon’s were always delivered from the heart with passion and wisdom. St Brendan’s is a vibrant community with many young families that attend with their children. These were some of the reasons why I felt attracted to do my story on St Brendan’s.

Father Paul and I had agreed that I would photograph a special mass on the 5th Sunday of Lent. It was an afternoon mass for the parents and children that were going to do their First Confirmation. This mass was to be co-hosted by another visiting priest and was meant to go over the rituals of the mass and their meaning. This proved to be a good review for myself;  I learned that the reason they put a drop of water into the sacramental wine was because one drop cannot be separated from the wine and yet does not dilute the whole.

In short, this is a story about a Catholic mass and the ritual of Holy Communion delivered by 2 priests, and that is what I have tried to depict in the 6 images allowed for this assignment. If one was to see the bigger picture, which will be posted on my main photo blog, you will see more of the community and the Easter tradition. I have also photographed the Palm Sunday Mass at Saint Bonifatius in Father Gerry Westphal’s parish, and a re-enactment of the Crucifixion at St.Mary’s Polish church.

St Brendan’s Church

This is the bigger picture of an assignment I did for one of my Dawson classes. I was required to submit 6 images that tell a story and my story was the Fifth Sunday of Lent. Father Paul graciously allowed me to set up some equipment and photograph his mass. Because I feel only six pictures tell a small part of the story, here are the other pictures taken at that event. Enjoy.

Palm Sunday At St.Bonifatius

This Sunday I was invited to photograph the Palm Sunday Mass at Saint Bonifatius, in Montreal. Here are some moments from this mornings family mass. Then there was delicious cake and coffee downstairs after the service. Be sure to drop by 3751 de-l’Hotel-de la Ville.

In a Russian Cemetery

I always make these pilgrimages to cemeteries. The cemeteries in Russia have always held a special interest for me. Having studies Russian literature it gave me an opportunity to have little “chats” with my hero’s, Fyodor Dostoevsky in particular. I made my first trip to St.Petersburg in 1992 but I do not have access to those pictures. At the time I made the trip with my partner at the time. I imagine those negatives are still in her basement somewhere. A shame, as that particular trip we traveled to my grandmother’s village and were privy to some interesting characters and situations. These particular pictures were taken in 2000 I believe. One of the themes I discovered was the eroticism in the depictions of death. I would like to explore this more in the future.

South Korean Country Wedding

 I was very fortunate while living in South Korea to be invited as a guest to so many different celebrations and ceremonies. This one stands out in my memory. One of the most comfortable weddings I was invited to. Lots of fun…country side fun. Eventually I will post some of the other Korean weddings that I have shoot. Stay tuned.

Attack on Clarity

This is a shoot I did in Pusan, South Korea at a police station. The concept I was trying to reveal was clarity. I was told that green tea brought clarity. In days of old the tea ceremony was performed for Kings. Judges would drink it before having to make an important decision. In this photo shoot I incorporated the traditional Korean tea set into the setting of the police station where clarity is of he upmost importance. Here are some of the pictures from that shoot.

Excavator, Dump Truck, Tractor and Bulldozer

I’ve long been fascinated with heavy equipment and how it can transform the land. Over the years I have been lucky to have been able to approach these machines and their operators. It is such a pleasure to watch them work, especially the good ones. The equipment they use becomes an extension of their bodies and it is amazing to see with what detail they can operate these machines. This is a photo essay dedicated to Justin Brock and Billy Woodard and their crew. They have been landscaping the terrain at the Live Like Water Retreat and accentuating its beauty, and defining its beauty.

Chase,Choice and Consequence

This is a project that I did for one of my Photoshop classes. We were supposed to design a CD booklet for a band. I decided to do one for my own poetry…dedicated to the un-born child I almost had some time ago.  It was a painful experience from a painful time in my life. From a time I had to choose a new path. I have not forgotten the past…in fact I have carried it with me all along. This was my way of exposing this darkness to the light…acceptance and forgiveness so that I may move forward.