My father, the late Dick Ferrier, made his living as a landscape painter when I was growing up. We literally lived among paintings. Summer road trips were spent capturing the Canadian landscape in slides that he would later use for reference. We grew up expected to practice our sketching and everyone in our family made things. Art was fused right into our identity. We either lived with it or inspite of it. The first time I was asked what was the point of art I literally didn’t know how to answer. It was like asking me what was the point of the sky. It just was. You just did.
But it was my older sister who first taught me to use a 35mm film camera. After my camera got stolen while backpacking in the Middle East I invested in new second hand cameras while living in the UK. I used my photography portfolio to get into Ryerson University.
I graduated from Ryerson with a Bachelor of Applied Arts, Major: Photographic Arts – Film. I worked in the film and video industry for several years after in a variety of positions from camera assisting and shooting to producing, before expanding into web and digital work (which I still continue to do along side of making photographic art) while I raised my family.
I have a love of light and mood and capturing or creating this is what I love the most about photography.
Personal Projects Beginning in 2020
I feel my best creative work started with a feeling, a piece of true honesty. 2020 afforded me the opportunity to look inward, and so I started exploring more personal themes in my work, influenced and informed by my love of film, literature, and story.
Some of my most favourite writing by John Steinbeck and Canadian Writer Arjun Basu was spare and yet so loaded with meaning. Moments of realization, turning points, loaded drama that spoke to a bigger story. How do I do this with photography, I asked myself? Not all my work aims for this, but recently this is what excites me the most.
My personal projects blurs the line between straight photography and art making. It does not stop at the moment of capture but has extended into the manipulation of space and light, using “lighting painting” and photo stacking, building miniature “sets” and then compositing and altering through digital applications.
In the process of creating I sometimes discover other things in the work. I look at the characters I have created, the stories that are there. I see isolation, anxiety, fear, determination, perseverance, strength, and weakness reflecting universal themes many of us are experiencing in this current climate. It’s certainly been a year of denied options, reality confusion, and mental health struggles and yet we see the ever-present human drive and desire to thrive.
I could tell you stories about those characters in my work. Where they come from, where they might be going. But they might tell you a different story.