Peter Allan presents: No Public House


I was born in a dark room - a develop and print photographic darkroom set up first in the upstairs bathroom and later more permanently in the furnace room of our family home in suburban Montreal. In the sixties photography was the exclusive activity of my father and myself. Together we would catch images of steam locomotives, Vieux Montreal, Mosport Racetrack, photos of the moon landing off the black and white TV in the rec room…most especially I enjoyed the silent moments in the darkroom, just he and I.  

Ever since, I have admired the handmade, artistic originality, a craft person’s skill. It was this fascination that compelled me to become a student at McGill University, where I learned of the century and a half of evolution of the photographic image from Fox Talbot to Warhol .  Later a graduate course on Man Ray at the University of Victoria rekindled an interest in the mystery of a dark room. Many thousands of images have come since then but these fewpictures are the first on public view. Theimages are a lament, not an indictment. They are the result of quiet contemplation within the exhausted shells of favoured places amidst the naked rafters and detritus. I’ve long believed that a Public House is a window into its neighbourhood, its community. So is an Art Gallery.

Please join me and my fellow artists of the co-operative known as the SaltSpring Gallery as we celebrate our 5th Anniversary on Friday October 10th from 5-7pm 135 McPhillips Avenue.