I am an emerging lens-based artist living in Toronto’s Little Portugal, a neighbourhood I have called home for 30 years. Grounded in documentary photography and using analog cameras, my practice explores the liveliness and beauty found in the decay and renewal of the urban ecosystem.
Raised in the city’s east end, Little Portugal felt familiar to me, its laneways reminiscent of the ones I played in as a child. While out exploring with my dog in 2014, I was drawn to these laneways with their generations of wear and tear—as well as to the more recently graffitied surfaces—and began capturing and sharing them.
Although I have no formal training, I have actively engaged with other artists over the past four years to transform my intuitive drifting into a more formal practice. As I photographed my neighbourhood, I was reminded of and inspired by Atget’s capturing of early twentieth century Paris that was undergoing significant modernization. Focusing on space over inhabitants, my elegiac images reveal the indestructible cultural energy of the people who live and work in the community.
Change is constant in life, in a city, and in a neighbourhood; it represents both loss and renewal. My images explore the universality of the change within my neighbourhood while acknowledging the displacement caused by its gentrification. Over time, I have expanded the scope of my urban palette, while never stopping to document my own neighbourhood.