Walter May • Photographs

Fire pits and Campsites

     This ongoing series of campsites and fire pit images has been gathered over the last 19 years during excursions to natural and wilderness areas located primarily in Alberta and British Columbia.The photographs were taken using various digital cameras, have been printed in several sizes and are usually exhibited in blocks or groups, or as a part of installations that include other objects. When the images are seen together, comparisons can be made between small scale economical campfire constructions and large structures that must have required a great deal of effort. This leads one to speculate on the purpose and intention of the builders. At the present time I estimate that I have amassed a digital archive of over two thousand images as a part of this project. 

     Most of the sites that I have documented are found near water, which has become a secondary theme in the series. Although the location of the site is of interest, I am more engaged by how people have chosen to construct the fire pit using whatever natural materials are at hand to contain the fire.  I have also noticed that in most cases people will remove whatever has been brought to the campsite location that is not of the natural world, however the fire pit itself is left intact. Unless the sites are disturbed by other people, animals or by natural phenomena such as floods, these sites may remain as evidence of human interaction with the natural world indefinitely. 

Upper Highwood with Rain 06/23/2015
Upper Highwood with Rain 06/23/2015

Digital image.

Jumping Pound 09/15/2016
Jumping Pound 09/15/2016

Digital image.

Exposure Installation, 2015
Exposure Installation, 2015

Installation of photographs at Paul Kuhn Gallery as part of the Exposure 2015 Photography Festival, Calgary Alberta.

Large Fire Pits • 2015
Large Fire Pits • 2015

Each photo approx. 30" h x 40" w. Little Red Deer 05/16/2011 • Inkjet print on archival paper. Livingstone 07/06/2010 • Inkjet print on archival paper.

Small Firepits • 2015
Small Firepits • 2015

Each image 6" h x 8" w. mounted on small shelves. Black and White inkjet prints on archival German Etching paper.

9. Near Courtney BC 10/20/2013
9. Near Courtney BC 10/20/2013

6" h x 8" w. Digital print on archival German etching paper.

Livingstone 9/15/2011
Livingstone 9/15/2011

Digital Image.

Crowsnest 08/05/2007
Crowsnest 08/05/2007

13.5" h x 16" w. Digital print on Velvet Fine Art Paper.

Cataract Creek 08/05/2003
Cataract Creek 08/05/2003

11' h x 14" w Digital print on Archival Paper.

Campfires • Warsaw • 2005
Campfires • Warsaw • 2005

An Installation of 60 11'x14" digital prints with sculptural construction. Galerie Klimy, Warsaw, Poland.

Kling and Bang Installation • 2009
Kling and Bang Installation • 2009

Individual photos 11" h x 14" w. Installation approx. 14' wide. Digital photos printed on archival paper with various objects partially dipped in tar and hung from bead chain.

Campsites Grande Prairie • 2011
Campsites Grande Prairie • 2011

A Block of 12 framed inkjet prints. Each print is 13.5" h x 16" w.

Campfires with video in studio
Campfires with video in studio

Campfire images • 14"w x 11" high unframed. Studio Installation of 63 framed digital campfire photographs. In addition, a looped 3d animation of a campfire is presented atop a wooden tripod.

Duets

     A selection of paired photographs that features incongruous, ironic, portentous, futile or unusual situations. Examples of recurring imagery includes falling or fallen objects, black animals, accidental drawings, containers for fuel or fire, the effects of fire and water on the land and strange lighting.    

Duet Photos • 2018
Duet Photos • 2018

An installation of twenty duet photos as part of "Look Again" at the Nickle Galleries, University of Calgary.

Fireplaces with candle • 2017
Fireplaces with candle • 2017

20.5"h x 12.75" w. x 2.5" A single match is embedded in a short candle placed in a small wooden container with hinged doors. This container rests on a metal shelf attached to the top of a framed digital photograph of two types of fireplaces. Private Collection.

Fireplaces • 2017 * detail
Fireplaces • 2017 * detail

Image size 10" h x 7.2" wide

Bird Bath Puddle • 2015
Bird Bath Puddle • 2015

Digital image.

After Burn Rising Water • 2015
After Burn Rising Water • 2015

Digital image.

Fire Pit Vent • 2010
Fire Pit Vent • 2010

Image size: 18" h x 13" w Inkjet print on Epson Matte Archival Paper.

Crows Tank • 2007/08
Crows Tank • 2007/08

Image size: 18" h x 13" w Inkjet print on Epson Matte Archival Paper.

Stack Night Pool • 2008
Stack Night Pool • 2008

Image size: 18" h x 13" w Inkjet print on Epson Matte Archival Paper.

Evergreen Burner • 2007/08
Evergreen Burner • 2007/08

Image size: 18" h x 13" w Inkjet print on Epson Matte Archival Paper.

Bush Cat • 2007
Bush Cat • 2007

Image size: 18" h x 13" w Inkjet print on Epson Matte Archival Paper.

Tanks Gas • 2005
Tanks Gas • 2005

Image size: 18" h x 13" w Inkjet print on Epson Matte Archival Paper.

Steeple Dog • 2003
Steeple Dog • 2003

11" h x 8 1/2" w. Inkjet print on archival paper.

Olive Farm Parking Lot • 2002
Olive Farm Parking Lot • 2002

11" h x 8 1/2" w. Inkjet print on archival paper.

Hose Track Bird Tracks • 2002
Hose Track Bird Tracks • 2002

11" h x 8 1/2" w. Inkjet print on archival paper.

Stuffed Dog Truck Bed • 2002
Stuffed Dog Truck Bed • 2002

11" h x 8 1/2" w. Inkjet print on archival paper.

Big Little Fish

     Small dried fish were scanned at high resolutions. These scans were translated into large inkjet prints that were exhibited with the original fish presented in a test tube adjacent to the framed image. In a later development, a scan of a preserved fish was paired with a fossilized fish of a similar size. 

Gold Grey Fish/Fossil Fish • 2008/09
Gold Grey Fish/Fossil Fish • 2008/09

Each framed print 92" w x 22" h. A high resolution scan of a small dried fish and a fossil of a small fish is presented as a large scale inkjet print on archival paper. The original fossil, as well as the dried fish in a test tube are included adjacent to the framed print. Collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

Gold Grey Fish and Fossil Fish
Gold Grey Fish and Fossil Fish

Detail of previous work.

Brown Fish / Blue Fish • 2008
Brown Fish / Blue Fish • 2008

An installation of two large framed inkjet prints of dried fish with original fish in test tubes hung adjacent to the frames.

Brown Fish • 2008
Brown Fish • 2008

Framed size: 77" w x 25.5" h. image size: 71" w x 19.5 h" A large format inkjet print on Moab archival 100% rag paper produced from a scan of a small dried fish with fish, test tube and hardware.

Blue Fish • 2008
Blue Fish • 2008

Image size: 74.5" w x 19.5" h. Inkjet print on Moab archival 100% rag paper. Exhibited with test tube, dried fish & hardware.

White Fish • 2008
White Fish • 2008

Image size: 85.5" w x 21.5" h. Inkjet print on Moab archival 100% rag paper. Exhibited with test tube, dried fish & hardware.

Yellow fish • 2008
Yellow fish • 2008

Image size: approx. 72" w x 18" h. Inkjet print on Moab archival 100% rag paper. Exhibited with test tube, dried fish & hardware. Private collection.

Chateau Mathieu

     A selection of images taken during a residency project at Chateau Mathieu in Normandy, France. Several of these images were included as part of the narrative section of the "Folly" exhibition (The Esplanade Gallery, Medicine Hat, Alberta, 2012 and The Nickle Galleries, Univ. of Calgary 2014).

Mathieu Stone Pedestal • 2012
Mathieu Stone Pedestal • 2012

11/25" h x 9.5" w. B & W image of stone garden pedestal supporting a large piece of burnt wood, printed on archival matte paper.

Mathieu Basement Kitchen Table  2012
Mathieu Basement Kitchen Table 2012

6.5" w x 4.25" h. Photo of basement kitchen at Chateau Mathieu with Ping Pong table. Inkjet print on archival matte paper.

Chateau Firewood Storage room • 2012
Chateau Firewood Storage room • 2012

6.5" w x 4.25" h. Photo of wood storage room, Inkjet print on archival matte paper.

Narrative Section: Folly • 2012
Narrative Section: Folly • 2012

An arrangement of photographs and objects from the Chateau Mathieu residency project.

Table and Chair with Holes •  2012
Table and Chair with Holes • 2012

Chair with small table at Chateau Mathieu.

Studio table with basins • 2012
Studio table with basins • 2012

Unaltered still life arrangement at Chateau Mathieu.

Drying Rack on Stairs • 2012
Drying Rack on Stairs • 2012

Laundry rack at Chateau Mathieu seen from above.

Stone Ball with Peg • 2012
Stone Ball with Peg • 2012

Exterior of Chateau Mathieu with a large stone ball and a small wooden peg.

Chateau Festive Barrel • 2012
Chateau Festive Barrel • 2012

A decorated plastic barrel found in the stable at Chateau Mathieu.

Jugs • 2012
Jugs • 2012

A still life arrangement of several jugs at Chateau Mathieu.

Chateau Alcove with Fuel • 2012
Chateau Alcove with Fuel • 2012

Tableau and still life arrangements at Chateau Mathieu.

Chateau Stool Saw Basin • 2012
Chateau Stool Saw Basin • 2012

Exterior still life at Chateau Mathieu 2010.

Chateau Faux Window • 2012
Chateau Faux Window • 2012

In an attempt to restore symmetry, a former window at Chateau Mathieu which had been replaced by bricks, was painted to resemble the original window.

Walter May • Drawings

     Examples of early drawings exhibited with the source material included within the composition. Models included string, sticks, stones, feathers, cigars and portions of some animals.  This strategy of including original subject matter, pairs of objects or groups of related components often reoccurs in my other work. 

Squirrel Tails • 1978
Squirrel Tails • 1978

16" h x 5" w x 2" d. A framed pencil drawing of a squirrel tail with the tail.

Bearclaws • 1978
Bearclaws • 1978

9" h x 5" w x 1.5" d. A pencil drawing of a bear claw with the claw.

Untitled feathers: 1979
Untitled feathers: 1979

25" h. x 30" w. A framed pencil drawing with a construction made from feathers and bamboo attached to the frame. Collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

Untitled (snake) • 1979
Untitled (snake) • 1979

25" h x 30" w. x 4" d. A pencil drawing of a construction made from bamboo, feathers, a rubber snake and cord, which is attached to the frame.

White Owl Black Stones • 1978
White Owl Black Stones • 1978

A pencil drawing on handmade indian paper with a model constructed from a string, several black stones and a cigar.

Corner Piece 1976
Corner Piece 1976

22.5"h x 15.5"w x 2"d. A pencil drawing with source material - decorated cigar, feather, string on handmade Indian paper.

Border Crossing 1978
Border Crossing 1978

20" h x 26" w. x 2"d. A pencil drawing of small black stones with small black stones.

Pointing out Slabs 1977
Pointing out Slabs 1977

A pencil drawing of flat rocks with rocks.

Many Small Stones • 1978
Many Small Stones • 1978

22" h x 15" w x 2" d. A pencil drawing of small stones with small stones.

Rounded Flat Rocks • 1977
Rounded Flat Rocks • 1977

22" h x 26" w, x 2" d. A pencil drawing of flat rocks with rocks.

Pine • 1978
Pine • 1978

30.5 h x 23.5 w x 3" d. A pencil drawing of small branches from a pine tree with branches.

Untitled • 1978
Untitled • 1978

11" h x 47" w x 3" d. A drawing of a still life construction made from branches and wire. The model for the drawing is partially concealed within a layered box. Collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

Bi-Focal • 1978
Bi-Focal • 1978

37" h x 36" w. x 2" d. A mirror image pencil drawing of a still life construction made from sticks and string. The construction is partially hidden within a layered box frame. Collection of the Canada Council Art Bank.

Sinuous Curve and Golden Rectangle
Sinuous Curve and Golden Rectangle

30" x 22" x 2", Pencil drawing of bamboo stick with elastic band and thread construction with model. 1978.

Chateauguay • 1980
Chateauguay • 1980

A drawing of small stones arranged in accordance with a military map describing troop movements at the Battle of Chateauguay, Quebec, 1813. Corporate collection.