This series of photographs is a study of the abandoned buildings of a once thriving guest ranch in the rural southern Cariboo region of British Columbia, Canada. Big Bar Lake has witnessed its fair share of highs and lows since the early settlers first fought the elements, with the Cariboo gaining prominence during the gold rush era of the mid 19th Century. Today the southern end of the region is predominantly a cattle farming area, and those souls eager to make the 5 hour trip from Vancouver are greeted with a sparsely populated land of lakes and pine trees.
I was drawn to telling and preserving the story of Big Bar Lake Ranch after reading the memoirs of its owner and renowned local cowboy-rancher Harry Marriott, who built the ranch with his wife Peg in around 1920.
Taken using my homemade film canister pinhole cameras, the long exposure photographs use the sunlight streaming in from hundreds of holes in the ranch’s slowly deteriorating roof to illuminate the dingy interiors over the duration of 4 days. As the sun arcs across the sky, this translates into the streaks and lines etched onto the walls, floors and ceilings of the rooms in the ranch.
I wanted to use available light and let the condition of the building dictate how the photographs would look. In a simplistic way the images are celebrating the beauty of light, and how it forces its way into the shadows.
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