When many people think of the West Coast they imagine postcard views of mountain vistas or ocean sunsets, but Vancouver-based photographer Anthony Redpath has chosen to capture more surreal views of the west.
Redpath’s photographs focus instead on the paradox and irony of contemporary life along the Pacific North West Coast and include scenes of urban pools, road side carnivals, trailer park parties, or abandoned buildings in once thriving logging or fishing communities.
With a strong sense of design and knowledge of technique, learned from his years as a commercial photographer, Redpath expresses his interest in contemporary art, popular culture and social issues through beautifully composed, crisp and resonant imagery.
In Pop Up Carnival I, a colourful carnival midway stands in stark contrast amidst a cracked highway, the pale green roof of an abandoned strip mall, and a dull grey sky.
The image is rendered even more surreal when displayed alongside Pop Up Carnival II. It’s another view of the same scene, taken from exactly the same angle, after the carnival has packed up and left the mall abandoned once again.
Redpath’s images are often elaborately staged, meticulously crafted in post-production, and printed up to 8 feet wide. In one of his most personal images, Trailer Park Party, Redpath captures a scene reminiscent of the parties he used to frequent in his younger days in Ucluelet on Vancouver Island. At first glance, especially online, the image may appear to be a casual snap shot, but it is actually a carefully crafted tribute to the mix of working class people who used to hang out together in the town before local industries collapsed and were replaced by the tourist trade.