Weekly Post Challenge: “Monument”
Every piece of art has an interesting history or sentiment behind it. Another art truism, specifically about photography, is that everything of this world that could be shot has been shot. Photography now is not about discovery. It’s about rediscovery.
Back in 2011 I briefly met Paul Elia, artist and member of the Beasley Neighbourhood Association, at the clothesline art sale that was headed up by the Hamilton Museum of Steam and Technology. He was interested in this piece and told me about a quite similar image made by photographer Jeff Tessier. Producing original work is extremely important to me, and I must admit that my paranoia had me fearing that perhaps Paul thought that I was pedaling Jeff’s shot as my own.
Honestly, I had never heard of Jeff or seen his image before (I shot mine in July of 2009). So I looked up his shot, panicked over the similarities and contacted him hoping to smooth things over. Great guy; he put my mind at ease. Although he was only acquainted with Paul, he assured me that he didn’t believe that Paul suspected me of copying anything. It was just an observation of an uncanny coincidence. He said:
“Well, photography is a funny thing. There’s only so much to photograph and it’s no surprise that if one photog with a good eye sees something in a certain way, then the next photog will likely come along and see it in a similar light. It looks like that’s what happened with you and me. But in the spirit of full disclosure, I need to say that my image of Gore Park at night was inspired by some work I’ve seen from another Hamilton photographer, Peter Michael Wilson, who has some stunning nighttime photos of the city, including Gore Park. I used to use Peter’s images when I was the Photo Editor at H Magazine and for one of my recent projects I decided to go out for a few nights in the middle of the night, inspired by the images and emotions I saw in his work. That’s where the ‘Gore Park Fountain at Night’ image came from. So if anyone’s copying, it’s me!”
So, despite the hundreds of photos already taken of this fountain over decades, I hoped that I had succeeded in creating a picture that is unique. Although I see that I have failed in that endeavor, I am quite satisfied with my results. There are enough differences for that. I am also intrigued to know that there is another Hamiltonian who shoots with the same enthusiasm and approach as me.
For a little history on the fountain, click HERE.