From September 14 through October 26, Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto is presenting Joseph Hartman: Georgian Bay, the gallery’s fourth solo exhibition of the artist’s work. For this series, Hartman returned to the Bay area, where he spent his summers as a child. Later on, while in university, Hartman spent time serving with the Canadian Coast Guard, monitoring the 150-km coastline from Parry Sound to Killarney—a sparsely populated area only accessible by boat or floatplane. He began documenting these remote communities with a 4 x 5 view camera as well as a drone for aerial shots as a way to explore the desire to be in such gorgeous but sometimes harsh environments. The exhibition features large-scale prints that allow viewers to become immersed in the works.
Previous series by the artist include Highway 69, Return, Hamilton, and The Artist’s Studio. In Highway 69, Hartman documented the highway’s construction and expansion between Parry Sound and Sudbury, which removed layers of the Canadian shield. His next series was Return, in which he went back to the area of Collins and Heron Bay in northern Ontario, where he lived for the first three years of his life, to photograph places that looked like images from his early memories. Hamilton was a seven-year project. The forty images in the series document the working-class neighbourhoods and landscapes of the East End area of the city. For The Artist’s Studio, the photographer photographed the working spaces of artists across Canada. The images offer a personal, behind-the-scenes look at the creative process. Hartman’s work has been exhibited in galleries across Canada, and his work is in collections all over North America.