July 12, 1998

York Redoubt (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

One of the most wonderful things about photographing the same spaces over and over again is how it allows me to witness change; no matter how many times I return to the same site, I always find more to photograph. More often than not, these new images are documenting the changes themselves. York Redoubt has altered considerably since I first photographed it almost a decade ago; Parks Canada has restored some of it, and stabilized other areas, leading to a much different place from the slowly deteriorating ruin I knew as a child. When they first began their reconstruction, I thought they had ruined the site forever - now I know better.
4"x5" film
The above image of a gun slit in the curtain wall, is my favourite image of the day - very Zen in a way...its beauty lies in its simplicity - the lack of symmetry and slightly off-centre nature really drawing me in.
4"x5" film
Made within a canopier (an enclosed shooting gallery which protrudes out from the main wall) which had been restored several years before, I was quite pleased at how the image captured the essence of the space.
4"x5" film
Down from the main fort is the York Shore Battery, a WW II installation. This site, in contrast to the 19th century fort on top of the hill, was only stabilized, with active restoration restricted to the rebuilding of a sighting tower. The beauty of this part of York Redoubt lies in its decay, in the slow wave of time washing over the concrete and iron of the emplacements and bunkers. Every year a little more of the site is worn away, and encroaching vegetation overtakes a little more of the fort. In another decade it may have changed irrevocably; in a half-century--it may be gone.

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