Hover over the image for navigation and full screen controls
Deep Roots/Fresh Cut
I passed my thesis defense on Thursday afternoon and by Sunday I was out of Toronto, driving back across Canada to Vancouver. A week later I was at the golf course where I’d spent the last seven summers cutting grass to pay for two degrees and to fund my documentary photo projects. I still owed around $25,000 for the MFA – about two more summers work. The golf course had been sold to a new company since the last year, but everything was the same. The coffee tasted like machinery, the mud room smelled like a wet dog, and the golfers still looked down on us. I was happy to be back though, amongst friends and away from fine art politics and the commercial bias of news media, both of which I grew frustrated with during my two years in Toronto. I started packing my camera and a pocket full of Tri-X to work with me in the morning, mostly to stay sharp until I could afford to start another project.
Looking at the photos now, I see inklings of something deeper than just pictures of my friends at work, but it’s something I can’t quite put my finger on. My girlfriend says it looks like the work of a Marxist, but I don’t think that is it. Maybe it’s the struggle of emerging as a documentary photographer manifest in the day-to-day grind of a greens keeper.The tension with golfers and clubhouse management, the tight community, the exhaustion, the solitude, the stubborn determination. Or maybe it’s none of that at all.
Ryan Gauvin is a documentary photographer based in Vancouver, Canada. He holds a BA in Geography from Simon Fraser University, and an MFA in Documentary Media from Ryerson University. Ryan also attended the Eddie Adams Workshop in 2009. In the past he has partnered with the International Campaign for Tibet, and his work has been published internationally. Ryan was recently recognized at the 2009 New York Photo Awards and 2009 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris for his work in Tibet. He is currently in the research stage of a documentary photography project on the use of depleted uranium warheads in the Balkans.