Since 2000, John Armstrong, who lives in Toronto, and Paul Collins, who lives in Paris, have maintained a collaborative, intermedia art practice.
Their photographs, videos and painted images record places, events and objects they come across in the course of their daily lives in Toronto and Paris. These elements are variously juxtaposed to suggest narratives that play with the porous nature of individual and collective memory.
cache-misère is the title of a series of colour photographs on which the artists have painted images, text and swatches of colour. The photographs are compositionally completed by the addition of painted elements that, to varying degrees, obscure the initial picture. The painted images represent primarily domestic bric-a-brac and typographical elements that form short poetic statements.
Once painted, the photographs no longer represent seamless windows onto reality, but assume a new logic where any editorial content is complemented by the associative synergy found in abstract painting.
–Installation view of cache-misère in the exhibition The Mechanical Bride curated by Bonnie Rubenstein for the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival 2010 at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, Toronto.
Using documentary landscape techniques as their starting point, these three, inter-linked series transform terrestrial feats of engineering into abstracted, almost painterly compositions.
Light pierces the darkness on the surface of the North Sea; tossed by the waves, pencil-thin beams of light reveal the Earth's natural creativity.
Working in the tradition of an on-the-road artist, these photos from the Atlantic coast use the central theme of water to explore ideas of deterioration, survival and growth.