Between 2011-2014 I worked as a sleeping-car porter for VIA Rail on the transcontinental line ‘The Canadian’ that connects Vancouver to Toronto and the ‘Hudson Bay’ which extends from Winnipeg to Churchill, on the shores of the Hudson’s Bay. This body of work was inspired from a collection of my personal experiences of working on the train combined with the deep folkloric and romantic stereotypes the passenger train embodies in Canada. Issues the work delves into includes conflicting notions of landscape, history, identity, nationhood, migration, tourism and various representations of the view and perspective.
Romanticized and colonial fantasies of the train and travel are toyed with and juxtaposed by the realities of degraded landscapes, exploitation, stagnation and the mundane.
Image credits: Leif Norman