Portrait Gallery Updated

Portrait gallery has been updated

Lynne (June 2017).  My close friendships are a very tight circle, but they run deep. Few people know me better than this lovely woman. What started as a work arrangement has ended up being a lasting friendship spanning almost twenty years. With all portraits, I try to capture a bit of the subject's essence as I see them. Within her beautiful backyard garden, I wanted to capture Lynne in a moment of reflection. For this is how we met (she was creating an award-winning family history book) and how she has helped me throughout the years since.

Lynne (June 2017). My close friendships are a very tight circle, but they run deep. Few people know me better than this lovely woman. What started as a work arrangement has ended up being a lasting friendship spanning almost twenty years. With all portraits, I try to capture a bit of the subject's essence as I see them. Within her beautiful backyard garden, I wanted to capture Lynne in a moment of reflection. For this is how we met (she was creating an award-winning family history book) and how she has helped me throughout the years since.

Self-portrait (June 2017).  Darkness and light. 

Self-portrait (June 2017). Darkness and light. 

Death of Target

When Target entered the Canadian retail landscape in 2013, I was excited. I had hoped that the cross-border shopping experience would be replicated with affordable, unique items not easily found at the competition. Thus on opening day, I was there. Something felt amiss though. I overheard several people comment on how it was just a "new Zellers". It would get better, I thought, but it never really did. The brand had overextended themselves and underestimated the Canadian marketplace. 

On January 15, 2015, Target Canada announced it would be filing for bankruptcy and closing all of its retail operations. It would be the first of many retailers to make this announcement in the coming months. 

On March 29, 2015, with five days left until closing, I photographed the death of Target: 

Small Town Mall

While in Winnipeg over the summer, I learned that a locale from my youth was slated for demolition. Fort Richmond Plaza was a mall near the University of Manitoba servicing the southern suburbs, including my 'hood St. Norbert. Anchor tenants Safeway and Zellers shared space with retailers as diverse as a a jeweller to a Chicken Delight to several hair salons that doubled as social clubs for the elderly. Most of these businesses moved out long, long ago, leaving a building that was nearly vacant for the better part of a decade.  

Despite south Winnipeg becoming a hotbed of development over the years, Fort Richmond Plaza never changed. It's interior bleak; the mall was perpetually stuck in 1983. This is why I liked it. This is why I'll miss it. Walking through those doors was like entering a time machine back to my childhood. I recall my mother buying me my first Barbie there. In high school, this is where the truancy officer would have found me (if they ever bothered to look). 

Prior to its demolition, a security guard granted me access to photograph the abandoned structure. I hope to continue this "Small Town Mall" series in the future, as these former hubs of commerce disappear from the retail landscape. 

Fort Richmond Plaza right before demolition (©Deborah Clague)

Fort Richmond Plaza right before demolition (©Deborah Clague)

A security guard smokes a cigarette while guarding vacant Fort Richmond Plaza (©Deborah Clague)

A security guard smokes a cigarette while guarding vacant Fort Richmond Plaza (©Deborah Clague)

Empty shelves of a recently closed Safeway  (©Deborah Clague)

Empty shelves of a recently closed Safeway  (©Deborah Clague)

Vacant interior of Fort Richmond Plaza (©Deborah Clague)

Vacant interior of Fort Richmond Plaza (©Deborah Clague)

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