Martha lives in Central Nova Scotia in the small, rural community of Upper Musquodoboit, where she keeps space with her husband, Kirby, her pets Charlee and Penny, as well as their cattle and horses. She is the mom to four grown kids and is MeMe to her four (soon to be 5!) grandkids - but she is not your typical grandma.
Self taught in photography, Martha admits she is a photo education junkie and believes in life long learning. Her photography tells the stories of living in rural communities in the 21st century.
When not working her day job as a beancounter for her family’s forestry business, she fills her time painting, creating textile art, playing her guitars and blasting obnoxiously loud music; trying to be a good human, learning as she goes.
Week Ten - Passion Portfolio (runner up - tie)
A Full Throttle, Full Colour Week In The Life of ME
A birthday, a new grandson, watching a vet perform a necropsy, some street photography during a trip to the city and spending time with the one I love the most- not a typical week in my life, but this is how it unfolded; events that were seemingly made for this brief. My art is literal- I photograph life in a fairly documentary way. I want to bring the viewer into my reality and share life as I experience it. Participating in TSR has opened my eyes to so much more, though. I now see so much more story to the images I want to make and share and to add creative layers and dimension. I want to make sure I am in photos. I want to share what rural life and this community has to offer. I want to challenge old ways of thinking and be part of change. I want to step out of my introverted box and talk to more strangers and ask them about their lives and share all of this with people who care.
The growth I have experienced as an artist throughout this challenge is immeasurable. To learn from some of the very best artists this country has to offer, making new friends who I hope will feel free to crash here while they tour the East Coast, deepening my post production skills, putting away some fears I had, pushing the limits of my creativity (and then some!).
Being given five words to develop a story around is not an easy task while maintaining an over arching theme. My theme is me! All of my images have a central tie and that is I experienced all of these ‘verbs’ this week:
~I am provoked there are not more photos of me
~How can you look at a newborn baby and not be amazed
~Some professionals are so willing to offer education if you just ask
~TSR inspired me to step out of my comfort zone and try street photography
~Maintaining connection to the one I love the most is everything
Week Eight - The Ripple Effect (second place)
ULA TETT (RIGHT HERE)
Teyah Maloney lives minutes away from the site of the residential school her great-grandmother was forced to attend as a child at age four until her sixteenth year when she ‘aged out’ of the system. Miraculously, her great-grandmother retained her language and spoke fluent Mi’kmaq her whole life.The Shubenacadie Residential School as it was called sat imposingly on a hill overlooking the river in Sipekni’katik, Mi’kma’ki; a hellish home to First Nations children from Atlantic Canada. Run by the Archdiocese of Halifax, it was typical of the other residential schools across Canada, inflicting lifelong multigenerational trauma on young souls who attended in the name of assimilation and ‘taking the Indian out of the child’.
Teyah was asked how she felt about the history of the residential schools “They were horrible and they tortured the Mi’kmaq people. Many lost their language, their culture, their long hair. They lost everything.” Miraculously, her great-grandmother retained her language and spoke fluent Mi’kmaq her whole life. Teyah wishes she had learned to speak Mi’kmaq- no doubt she will.
Teyah and her brother, Tate, are grounded in the traditions of their ancestors through the activism of her father, Brandon, and support of their mother, Nikki. Brandon is the grandson of Chief Reg Maloney and is currently a councillor at Sipekne’katik First Nation. He has been instrumental in the reclamation of a moderate living fishery for the Mi’kmaq people as guaranteed in the Treaty of 1752. Ever aware of the past, Brandon and his family flourish in spite of the atrocities inflicted on their ancestors by settlers. “We are very aware of ‘the ripple effect. Overcoming the effects of the residential school is what formed us into the huge rights activists and resilient warriors we are.”
Wela’lin, Teyah, for sitting for this portrait.
Week Seven - EXPOSURE SELF (third place)
Week Six - Sell Me a Story (WINNER)
THE RENAISSANCE OF FIBRE
<Fibre ’N Fert Journal>
Your Name: Martha Brown
Week Five - Black & White (WINNER)
WITH WILL AND DETERMINATION
Many Canadians assume a woman can easily exercise her right to body autonomy regarding reproductive health, however, there are many barriers when it comes to accessing legal, safe abortions in this country. Canada’s anti-abortion law was deemed unconstitutional in 1988, and Section 7 of The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms should provide women across the country full and equal access to these services. However, there are jurisdictions that are anti-abortion/pro-life and are able to limit accessibility through lack of willing governing legislation.
Denying abortion or putting up barriers to the service perpetuates stigma, continuing prejudice and stereotyping experienced by women in relation to reproductive health. Disproportionately, younger women, BIPOC women, disabled women, single mothers, the LGBTQ community, and victims of domestic partner violence are disadvantaged by lack of access to safe termination and may have to resort to unsafe procedures endangering their life and safety.
Week Four - Scratching the Surface with Maya Ramsahoye (Bottom Three)
‘When are you having kids?’
‘Are you planning to start a family soon?’
These are the inevitable judgemental questions that young, professional, childfree couples are regularly asked. It’s a very personal decision to have children, and one that is taken less lightly than in the past. Society hasn’t shed its inability to separate motherhood from being a woman, or male masculinity separated from procreation and legacy. Because the definition of the nuclear family still blankets much of our culture, couples who are undecided or fully decided to be childfree are met with confusion or pity.
Identity, achievements and joy should never be tied to another person; certainly not a child who had no say in their being. Couples should be able to just be couples and compliment their relationship in ways that joyfully fills their souls.
Zero Budget: The subjects are my daughter and son-in-law, they provided their own wardrobe and was shot in their home. It did cost me hugs and Himmy cuddles.
Week Three - KISS with Curtis Jones (Keep it Simple, Shooters!) SAFE
The world is so very noisy now, even in places where we hope to find silence. We are bombarded with constant aural, visual, spiritual, ethical, and moral ‘noise’. I set out to make an image that was quiet, to reflect what many people living in this modern world yearn for - a hushed place where we came from. Approaching minimalism through art is challenging for me as it collides with a lifetime of auditory and visual interference.
Jamais vu is described as a feeling what you are seeing is unique and strange while knowing you have experienced it before. Water provides this jamais vu experience for me - immersion in movement and calming sound. Minimalist photography provides immersion in a single subject and cloaks the senses at the simplest level; a unique image, yet a familiarity of seeing the individual elements combined into a new form.
Week Two - Recreate a Renee Robyn
Week One - Spectrum (SAFE)
My spectrum colour is yellow; a colour that generally represents happiness, confidence, energy and creativity. I wanted to convey a story in this image of a little guitar pedal who finally summoned the courage to get up on stage and play her heart out at the local variety concert in her town. She worked really hard to learn the skills and trust the process to get to this point, it is inspiring her to keep creating, working and performing.