LAB 9.1: Mike McLean, Range
Rocky Mountain National Park PhotographsAugust 7, 2009 - August 7, 2009
In the summer of 2008 Victoria based artist Mike McLean drove to Banff, Lake Louise, and Waterton Lakes National Park. In the tradition of many before him, he documented these travels with a large format field camera on 4×5 colour negative film. As McLean describes, Historically, the Rocky Mountains have filled many roles in Western Canada. The landscape has helped to shape a collective identity, provided seasonal work opportunities, and offered recreational pleasures to countless visitors. But the histories of the Rocky Mountain National parks are as varied as the geographic terrain itself and, in its many facets, the Canadian Parks Service reflects this diversity. McLean embarked on this project with these concepts as the impetus for his documentation. Though, no means exhaustive in its definition of our relationship to the Rocky Mountain National Parks, my intention for Range remains constant: to better understand the historical complexities of these Parks, to provide a contemporary perspective on these mountain landscapes, and to examine the need to protect these places in the future.