Curator’s Choice – Robert Bourdeau

While the Canadian photographer Robert Bourdeau now uses digital technologies in shooting his images, he began in analogue – that is, film. In 2015, the RMG received a donation of twelve outstanding photographs by this Kingston-born artist.

Like the slow food movement, Bourdeau’s practice is all about the slow and considered shot. Not only does he spend his time finding the perfect location, but the shutter speed of his large format camera is slowed considerably allowing for incredible detail in the resulting image.

Of the works given, I was particularly drawn to his 1975 photograph Yorkshire, England. Bourdeau has taken the photograph from a distance, overlooking the horizontal striations that delineate ownership of land. It’s the timelessness of the work that is particularly striking—this gold-toned print could as easily been taken in the late 19th century and speaks to generations of people who have lived on and worked the land.

Linda Jansma, Senior Curator