Monday, January 23, 2012

Artist's Statement - Campbell River Museum Exhibit, Jan 27 - Apr 24, 2012

Working in the Woods Today
An exhibition of photographs of BC's Coastal Forest Industry in the 21st century.

I started writing and doing photographic work for Truck Logger Magazine in 2004. In 2005 and 2008 Mike Hamilton and Don Bendickson, respectively, commissioned me to put together “crew books,” compilations of photographs and anecdotes about the men and women who were working in their logging companies. This gave me a close look at what “working in the woods” is about today. Thanks to them, and to the interest of Otto Schulte Sr. at Interfor’s Coastal Woodlands division, I started working on a book that is a record of the coastal forest industry in the early part of the 21st century.

why this project, and why now?
Almost all of us in BC have ties (direct or indirect, including a lifestyle and standard of living) to the forest industry. A generation ago, these ties were visible and visceral. Growing up in Black Creek, I knew my community was a forest industry community: my father, uncles, and friends worked in the woods. Within days of graduating in 1977 I too was working in the coastal forest industry.

Thirty years on, the situation has changed dramatically. Coastal communities from Campbell River to the Cowichan Valley have lost many of the visible ties to the forest industry. With the exception of Mike Hamilton Logging’s sign on Dyke Road, for example, there is almost no evidence of the industry in the Comox Valley.

Our community economies are more diverse than they once were. Yet growing and harvesting timber is still one of the principal economic drivers in our region. Working in the Woods Today is a reminder: there are still men and women working in the woods today. These people, the technologies they use, and the landscapes they work in, are all very much a part of our regional prosperity.

project fundraising
Working in the Woods Today is a self-funded project. You can help make the book a reality by buying prints from the exhibit or online. For more information about the project please visit

To purchase prints, cards, or electronic images online, please visit my e-commerce site.

To contribute online, please visit Help Build This Book

Thank you for your interest!

Support for this project

This exhibition was made possible through the support and participation of a number of people and businesses.

Exhibit Curatorial Support
Anh Le
Kathleen Laurel Hansen
Anthony McCloskey
Note: Anh, Kathleen, and Anthony helped me sort through some of the 1000s of project images made so far. For the purposes of this exhibit, their help was invaluable; the responsibility for the final choice of exhibit images, however, rests with me.

Campbell River Museum Staff
Sandra Parrish
Ken Blackburn
Catherine Gilbert
The enthusiasm of Museum staff for this project has been tremendous, as have their efforts to make the exhibit a success. You are an incredible asset to this community and region!

Coastal Forest Project Advisory (current)
Otto Schulte (Interfor)
Harry Barret (Interfor)
Mike Hamilton (Mike Hamilton Logging)
Don Bendickson (BenWest Logging)
Bill Dumont (RPF)
Dave Lewis (Truck Loggers Association)
Rick Wangler (United Steelworkers Local 1-1937)
Morgan Kennah (Island Timberlands)

Project Sponsors (to date)
Interfor - Coastal Woodlands
Mike Hamilton Logging Ltd.

Project Contributors (donations to date)
Elizabeth Meyer
Leeann Froese
Kris Krüg


hans peter meyer
23 January 2012
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