Driving along the quiet dirt roads, it’s common that an approaching car is a distant neighbour or a fellow general store patron. Both cars must shift closer to the edge of the road to make space for each other, and it’s at this moment the obligatory finger wave from the steering wheel is exchanged. The title “Don’t Forget to Wave” is a reference to this endearing custom and this project is a love letter to this area and my father. Made over the course of six years, this work explores the small town of Restoule, Ontario and focuses on my father’s health, the landscape, and the neighbouring structures as the seasons dramatically change. After my dad underwent heart surgery, I became acutely aware of his mortality, which heavily influenced the way I made photographs. I began to see this town and landscape differently. I made pictures through the eyes of someone scared to lose the father they loved but thankful he recovered from surgery – someone who was coming to terms with his imminent death and searching for solace in the outdoors. I photographed in various times of day, in the middle of the night, and in different seasons using colour and lighting as primary tools to express these fleeting qualities of life.




Don’t Forget to Wave, 2014 - 2021
Installation view at Columbia College Chicago


Mark