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Sointula Portraits Call for Participants

posted Jun 6, 2017, 8:22 AM by T Brett   [ updated Jun 6, 2017, 8:25 AM ]
Dear Sointula, come meet our new artist in residence Michael Barker! He will be having open studio drop ins in his studio, and also hopes to go to the homes of locals to photograph people where they live and what he says below, and get in touch. We think this project is going to be lovely, and a wonderful document of where this community is at right now.

My name is Michael Barker and I’m a Toronto-based photographer doing a residency at the Sointula Art Shed throughout June. My parents, Chris and Heather (and their dog Toby), moved to Sointula (to the yellow house on 1st) last year and I visited them for the first time last September. As a new visitor I was struck the beauty of Sointula and filled with curiousity about my parent’s new homeplace, it’s community, and unique history.

I would like to photograph both temporary and permanent residents of Malcolm Island, ideally at their home, workplace, or within the landscape of the island. I want to develop a personal and partial portrait of Sointula that captures something of the complexity, beauty, and uniqueness of it’s people, architecture, and landscape. While I see this project as long term project that will span a few years, my goal is to eventually exhibit the project in both Sointula and Toronto, potentially as part of the Contact Photography Festival in Toronto.

You can check out some of my past projects (and general photography) on my website ( These projects include “Fieldwork: Talking with Teachers in Alternative Schools,” an ongoing collaborative project with documentarian Ariel Fielding, interviewing and photographing past and present alternative school teachers in Toronto; and “ALPHA Alternative School 1972/2012,” a collection of portraits of students from the early days of one of the oldest alternative schools in Canada. On my website you’ll also find an excerpt from my multi-year project documenting the work of the Toronto Wildlife Centre—Canada’s largest and busiest wildlife hospital—that bears witness to our often ambivalent relationship with our wild neighbours and the tragic consequences for animals as a result of our impact on their habitats and ecosystems in urban environments.

If you’d like to participate in my project please contact me at — I’d be happy to hear from you. I’m also going to have open studio days when anyone is welcome to drop by to have their portrait taken in the Art Shed, I'm still figuring out when those days will be, and what the hours will be.

Participants will be given an exhibition quality print in gratitude at a later date.


Michael Barker