Keystone Species

April 15, 2013

Keystone Species is a collection of photos shown as a Pre-show at Festival Cinemas, Vancouver, BC in 2010. It ran for a month on the movie screen.

While working on an unrelated public art sculpture project in the City of Surrey, it was impossible to ignore these towering monsters visually, and even audibly. The theme developed in response to their huge presence and monitoring the public’s interactions with them. They are unavoidable, bisecting the city and a public greenway. Because they are the city’s focus, they resembled for me what it would have been like living with dinosaurs. In a way, I anthropomorphized them as one would a mountain, ocean or any natural surrounding’s feature.

It became an interesting side project to study the public’s interaction with them. There were varying responses from annoyance, reverence and apathy. Regardless of the relationship, one fact is for certain, the public is dependent on them. Without the power lines, the city would be rendered inoperable, which was something that stuck with me as I photographed them in detail.

Having an ecology background, the idea of keystone species resonated within this experience. These human-made giants have become the city’s keystone species. A nonliving presence that gives life to a centre.