sticks and stones will break my bones, but i always will be true, and when your mama is dead and gone, i'll sing this lullabye just for you, and what becomes of all the little boys, who never comb their hair -tw
I am going through years of photos, years of stories, trying to put them together someway. Many many years ago l started photographing on the street, just quick and hurried, like something that would be taken away from me if l wasn't fast enough. Then l met wally, he was the first that l spent time with, that l got to know. Walter Skulsky died a very lonely man on a mattress in a rooming house. My first encounter with wally was at a corner store. Exchange of small talk and cigarettes. I asked him if l could come over to where he lived and photograph him. Next day l arrived greeted at the door by wally in his well worn long johns. "Hi, remember me, can l come in. I have some cigarettes," I set up this big 4x5 camera and shot very quickly as l was sure he would kick me out. We then sat at a small table, it was just a room, a bare mattress, a empty fridge and the bathroom down the hall. Wally was always quiet never initiating a conversation, however he answered most of the questions l posed to him. I took prints of wally to him and hung them on his wall, l must have seemed very unusual to him. One time he was nude. I took my place across the table as l normally did. I didn't take any pictures. "fukin, fukin buttons, where am l going to put all these fukin buttons, on my fukin ass." This was wally's reply to my question as to why he didn't wear any of the buttons l had brought him. I always brought him weird stuff, chocolate bar, a old radio. I went away for the summer, travelled across canada by train. I came to see him, his rooming house was empty, the neighbor next door said they buried him last week, her husband had found him dead. It struck that wally had died without love, without knowing someone out there loved him. He died of loneliness...
Let's put a new coat of paint on this lonesome old town Set 'em up, we'll be knockin' em down. You wear a dress, baby, and I'll wear a tie. We'll laugh at that old bloodshot moon in that burgundy sky -T.W.
I've just finished giving a five day bricolage workshop, go to artdriftersand see their wonderful work.