In 2007, photographer Joseph Hartman relocated from the small rural community of Lafontaine, Ontario, where he lived most of his life, to Hamilton, Ontario. Initially feeling disoriented and disconnected from the city, he began to photograph Hamilton as a way to understand the place he now calls home.
Hamilton is Hartman’s largest body of work to date; it spans seven years and includes more than 40 photographs captured with a 4x5 view camera. Hamilton, a city best known for its steel industry, is now in a state of transition as heavy industry slowly leaves. Hartman overlooks the factories and smoke-laden skyline that have represented the city for decades and instead documents a cross-section of Hamilton’s working-class neighbourhoods and the surrounding landscape. He focuses on the city’s east end, drawn in by the “gritty personality” of the people and buildings of the area. This is Hartman’s second solo exhibition at the Stephen Bulger Gallery.