Joseph Hartman (Canadian b.1978) “Shed with Hand Prints, Collins, ON”, 2010 chromogenic print, ed. 1/9 101.6 x 127 cm Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre Gift of the artist, 2012
Shed with Hand Prints, Collins, ON, 2010
chromogenic print, ed. 1/9
101.6 x 127 cm
Collection of the MacLaren Art Centre
Gift of the artist, 2012
Born in Barrie Ontario in 1978, Joseph Hartman received an MA in kinesiology and gained entrance to medical school before deciding to become a photographer. Largely self-taught, he also apprenticed under Edward Burtynsky for four years, from 2005 to 2009.
Shed with Hand Prints, Collins, ON is part of the series Return, in which Hartman revisits and documents sites from his early childhood to determine whether his memories reflect what he finds there today. This takes him to Heron Bay and Collins, Indigenous communities in Ontario’s north. While his family’s collective remembrance of their time there was rich with a sense of community, the return for Hartman reveals vacated spaces, sober portraits acting as triggers for those who were there, and simple records of place for those who were not.
The shed here invokes a sense of former presence. The weathered paint and overgrown vegetation add a dramatic tone to the bolted and seemingly forgotten structure. Small hand prints reach (and maybe jump) to assert their slightly more colourful selves on the shed’s blank face. The stark quality of the image, in relation to the material trace of absent people, renders this a unique depiction of the passage of time.
Joseph Hartman lives and works in Hamilton Ontario.
-Tristan Howell Crocker, Young Canada Works Exhibitions Assistant