I've recently visited Change Islands just off the coast of the main island of Newfoundland. Change Islands is a small fishing community of 250 people spread over two main islands in a small archipelago. The North and the South Island are connected across the tickle by a bridge.
I have a longstanding relationship with Change Islanders and Change Islands. For the past eight years, I have been visiting the islands as a graduate student and over the years I made friends and developed a lot of respect and admiration for the islanders. Due to the regulations governing my academic research at the time, I was not allowed to take photographs of people for the duration of my studies. I wanted to remedy that from the moment I talked to the first person on the island and the new project I am starting now will very much do so.
During my last visit to the island, I had several conversations with the islanders as well as a small community meeting to discuss the project. Everybody seems interested and eager to work with me and my partner in this endeavour - documentary radio producer Chris Brookes. This is really important, because I would like this project to be very collaborative and very much driven by the community as well as my own curiosity.
I am not sure what the end result of this is going to look like or sound like, but if I know anything about Change Islanders, I can guarantee you that it will be unlike anything you've seen before.
In order to fund this project, Chris and I are planning to sell individual radio and magazine pieces as we go along, but we are also fundraising through this website. And we are not just going to ask you for your money. What I am doing is making a special edition of small (8x10 paper) silver gelatine prints on a cotton rag paper with beautiful texture and an eggshell sheen stained with Tetley™ tea for a really lovely green tone. Why Tetley™ tea? If you have ever visited a rural home in Newfoundland, you have probably been offered a cup of tea and it's very likely that it was Tetley™. So as an homage to many cups I drunk over the year and many more I will probably have, this fundraising edition of prints will be steeped in tea. These are still hand-made silver prints, but we are pricing them at $50 each. Essentially I am not charging you for the week or so of work that it takes to make a print and, eventually, an edition of ten prints. We will use the proceeds to pay for the film, travel and accommodations. I am not sure how many different prints I am going to make over the course of the project, but certainly not more than 10. The first one is available in the store.