It was the fall of 1969. Somehow I got out of Renfrew alive! University of Windsor. Q-Year with a class full of American draft dodgers. I was in the residence lounge, the one room on campus with a working stereo record player. I was listening to Led Zep for the very first time. Beautiful girl who I'd never seen on campus before was sitting next to me listening to her new LP. Thaddeus Holownia floated in, dressed like Sgt Pepper with the addition of a turkey feather stock in his hat. He drifted over to us, snapped handcuffs on our wrists and slouched out of the building in his own purple haze!
Thaddeus used to do that a lot - walk around in a bit of a haze -- but, this time he did remember to come back and unlock us. We have been together ever since. My wife and I, not Thaddeus.
In fact I haven't seen Thaddeus much since then. He moved from Windsor, to Toronto and settled eventually teaching art at Mount Allison University out east. He also has been taking amazing photographs that are bought up by collectors even before they have dried on the darkroom line I promoted a show of his large format landscape photographs at the McMichael a decade ago. It was a huge success, thousands of people felt the instant connectivity between his photographs of a Canadian landscape devoid of people and the works of the Group of Seven, which were hanging all around his travelling exhibition.
|Thaddeus out of uniform|
I told him back then about how he introduced me to my future wife. He feigned to remember the event. We marked each other on Facebook, but, after a couple of years I think he dropped me. Sigh. Old age culling.
Anyway I do have chance to renew old acquaintances next Saturday at one of Canada's best photography galleries - The Jane Corkin Gallery in the Distillery District (7 Tank House Lane, Toronto, Ontario).
Thaddeus is travelling west to launch a new exhibition in the Big Smoke. He will be showing photographs of Paris. Jane Corkin says that she " is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs by Thaddeus Holownia (in a show he calls) Paris after Atget. Reflecting on Eugène Atget's landmark photographs of Paris at the turn of the century, Holownia visited the city over several years documenting changes. Holownia confronts past and present cultures in this rapidly changing city. The work explores themes of architecture, evolution of urban space and our impact on the environment."
|Homage to John Thompson|
This new publication, again according to Corkin "contains a suite of photographs by Thaddeus Holownia, whose studio now stands upon the site of Thompson’s home. It also publishes, for the first time, a prose poem by Thompson recently discovered in the Mount Allison University Thompson archives."
Holowonia is suppose to arrive at 2pm and stay to 5pm. Everyone should come and watch the fun. I plan to handcuff Thaddeus to Jane. Let him see how it feels to be chained to a beautiful woman when nature calls.