Twenty-Two Iron Workers

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Owens Install 02 thumbnail
02_RogerO_2017
8x10_016_Brian_sharp
8x10_038_DonE_sharp
05_RogerR_2017
04_JoeJ_2017
03_GeorgeB_2017
010_DanielS_2017
06_Raymond_2017
012_LeeE_2017
011_RonaldK_2017
013_DavidJ_2017
014_FredA_2017
07_JerryV_2017
015_DonaldW_2017
Keith Phinney
016_PaulF_2017
017_GeorgeS_2017
018_FrankS_2017
019_GaryM_2017
020_HarryS_2017
08_DarrenW_2017
RandyP_2017
install01_web
Owens Install 02

Roger Oulton

Brian Novak

Donald Ells

Roger Richard

Joe Johnson

George Brown

Daniel Snowdon

Raymond Roberts

Lee Estabrooks

Ronald Kay

David Johnson

Fred Arsenault

Jerry Vance

Donald Ward

Keith Phinney

Paul Fraser

George Stevens

Frank Sears

Gary Milner

Harry Steeves

Darren Wheaton

Randy Poplar

Installation view, Owens Art Gallery

Owens Install 02

 

TWENTY-TWO IRON WORKERS
Archival inkjet prints, 40″ x 50″

The Twenty-Two Iron Workers series occupies a central position within the Enterprise project (2006-2012), a body of work that explores the legacy of historic iron foundry in the small community of Sackville, New Brunswick.

Before it was decimated by fire in 2012, the Fawcett-Enterprise Foundry Co. had been a leading manufacturing firm in Atlantic Canada for over a century. At the pinnacle of its production, the factory had served as a leading employer for the surrounding community and employed several hundred workers. In the final days before the company’s unexpected demise, however, this number had dwindled to less than two dozen employees.

In the Twenty-Two Iron Workers series, these few remaining workers are pictured as representatives of a slowly dwindling labour industry. They are portrayed at rest and alone in a factory space, which now functions as an empty portrait studio. Against this neutral black ground, each man becomes free to display his own particular relationship to a life of work and labour. 

Such companies as the Enterprise have historically formed the backbone of Atlantic Canada’s economy, but today they are made increasingly obsolete by labour outsourcing and globalization. It is within this broader economic context that these photographs serve as a record of one particular culture that has now faded into history.

 

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Final proof Enterprise for sign off.indd

Evan Rensch: Enterprise
Exhibition Catalogue (52 pp.)
Published by the Owens Art Galllery (Sackville, NB)
Designed by Robert Tombs / Printed by Lowe-Martin Group (Ottawa, ON)

 

An illustrated catalogue on the Enterprise project was published by the Owens Art Gallery in conjunction with the solo exhibition Evan Rensch: Enterprise (15 September – 12 October 2012). The catalogue includes reproductions of all twenty-two portrait images and features two commissioned critical essays by Robert Tombs and William Parenteau (UNB) that reflect upon both Rensch’s photography and the historical significance of the company for residents in the region. Please contact the Owens Art Gallery at Mount Allison University for more information.