Up Close With Photographer Julian Hall

Up Close With Photographer Julian Hall

One could walk by an old farm implement a thousand times and never give it a second look, or for that matter just about any “mundane” object that is regarded as just “being there” and not offering any hope of interaction or thought in our everyday life. Julian Hall’s photography has enabled those objects to come alive and demand attention, showing the beauty and intrigue that they possess through both a macroscopic lens and thought provoking composition in a context that makes you think, “I’ve never looked at it that way before.” The character lines, textures and colours of an old tractor, the grain of a piece of wood, or even the contrast between nature and man-made objects are just a few of Julian’s photographic endeavours.

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Julian’s subject matter is certainly influenced by his surroundings, and his work has surged with new purpose and excitement since arriving at Kind Organics, an organic farm where he works as a manager helping to bring to the farmer’s markets yummy greens, herbs, edible flowers and salad blends that we had a chance to try. We caught up with Julian at the farm, just west of Newmarket, Ontario, where he gave us a tour of this dynamic operation as well as meeting the current WWOOFers that were working on the farm upon our arrival. We also met the owners Tamas, Sandra and their son Sasha, who out of the blue, generously gave us a loonie towards the care for our cat Marli. A true cat lover after our own hearts!

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Click on the thumbnails below to expand the images and your senses!

Julian became interested in photography at a very young age. His father was a photographer, and so from within the dark room where images would appear “magically” from the trays of developer chemicals, a lifelong passion was borne.

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Julian’s composition is one of tactile imagery, creating photographs that bear the texture and colour more reminiscent of an oil painting. Composed through the lens of his camera, and certainly evidenced by his work, Julian is seeing the world around him in parts, or focused areas, rather than always as a whole. This characteristic is akin, in the visual sense, to “stopping to smell the roses,” gaining an appreciation for the minute details and not allowing peripheral vision to gloss over his surroundings.

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Julian’s photos tell a story about his subject matter, and can invoke feelings of nostalgia and wonder such as with the old farm implements, or even pique curiousity such as with the macroscopic images. For me personally, Julian’s photography is a metaphor for slowing down, appreciating the small, simpler things in life, and not allowing the fast paced world to blur our vision of what really is important: something, someone or somewhere that is right there in front of us. Thanks Julian!

Meet Rabi’a – “Woman of Steel”

Meet Rabi’a – “Woman of Steel”

Rabi’a greeted us at her gate with a hello, a hug, and a request to help her flip over a twelve foot long sheet of ¼ inch steel cut into the shape of a woman. It was a glimpse at her next project; the woman of steel to be clad in colourful ceramic tiles. [See photo of “Dancing Myself” updated below and the sculpture on public display in Castlegar, B.C.] It was perhaps a fitting symbol of this “woman of steel,” as Rabi’a’s boundless energy was apparent while she toured us around her property. That energy has transformed what was once a bare lot on the Slocan River into a beautifully treed sanctuary and also home to her bed and breakfast, The Artful Lodger. You will find an experience of cozy strawbale cottages, a solar shower (trust me, it’s very hot!), organic gardens and orchard, a boardwalk to the Slocan River, and of course the eclectic one-of-a-kind garden art sculptures created by Rabi’a. As we walked around the property it was evident that her outdoor art sculptures were as much a part of the décor of her acreage as were the variety of abundant trees she planted, each piece lending its own personality to the surroundings.

From Rabi’a’s history of homesteading and permaculture she is clearly a do-it-yourself person. That trait has extended to not only building the boardwalk shown in the included photos, where she hauled in 120 used tires for the base of it, but also to learning how to weld. That skill, combined with her creativity led to the creation of “Huge and Foolish“, a piece shown in Castlegar’s Sculpture Walk 2011 and purchased by the Columbia Basin Trust which now has it on display in Castlegar, B.C. for everyone to enjoy.

The "Huge and Foolish" mold

"Huge and Foolish"

Our visit with Rabi’a concluded with a tour of her strawbale cottages and a nice cup of tea, scrumptious dried apples and intensely flavoured dried tomatoes in her welcoming home; these goodies post-harvest bounty from her garden and orchard. Thank you for your hospitality Rabi’a.

“Dancing Myself”

Please click here for a more extensive look at Rabi’a’s art and enjoy the last two photographs below of views from Rabi’a’s property. Please feel free to leave a comment in the “Leave a comment” section below.