A Return to Foul Bay (2020)

A diagnosis of metastasized cancer, more calls than in the previous two years, two trips down to Barbados with my brother to see my father, doctor’s visits, closing up his business there, and death - all in the space of two months. During that time, the last place that my father requested to go before he was unable to leave the house was to Foul Bay to spend a quiet afternoon lying on the sand in the shade of a tree. We sat for hours doing nothing really.

I returned to Foul Bay four years later to document and explore the large beach ringed by low cliffs. The isolated beach is located in St Philip off the tourist path on an island greatly dominated by tourism. The beach has no amenities, no bar, no restaurant, no chairs, no umbrellas, no beach sweepers, no lifeguard, the sea can be rough and there is one portable washroom and a standpipe. It feels remote with only a handful of locals sometimes just sitting in their cars, having a drink, catching the breeze, a few fisherman and the odd individual swimming.

In my continued exploration of landscape as metaphor for place, history and identity, I captured the length of the bay. It is easy to look back at the place that was home and idealize it. Similarly when someone close passes away, one tends to consider the good times. A Return to Foul Bay is both a returning to the land and a looking back at my father’s life but, instead, it strives to present the beauty, the “ugly”, the improvised, the passage of time, loss and growth. The photographs reflect upon not only the loss of a parent but also the loss of a home as I lose my familial connections to the land.

The body of work is presented either as a photobook or a series of up to 35 photographs loosely installed in a dispersed salon-style manner in order to create a contemplative space in which the viewer may traverse the beach in their own time/space. A Return to Foul Bay also takes on travel photography and/or the coffee table book and travel magazine - constructs in themselves of idealized space— to problematize the fictitious “Caribbean as paradise” which usually ignores the people living in the space. Two examples of installations may be seen here:  Members’ Gallery, Gallery 44, Toronto, Canada  and Return, Gladstone House, Toronto, Canada

All Rights Reserved.