Photographs by Larry Williamson
I started this project in the Fall of 2017. I had planned to exhibit some of my photographic work in the CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto in May of 2017 but just as I was starting prepare my application, I suffered a heart attack. This put a complete damper on my plans as there is quite a bit of work required to prepare the application and I was in no position to complete it.
A few weeks later, I started my rehab. I could get around outdoors again but I found I did not have the strength nor the stamina to do my usual walks along our beaches in east Toronto. I was disappointed that all I could do was walk in my very familiar neighbourhood.
I have often thought that we (all of us) tend to ignore or overlook what is closest to us, bored by its familiarity, by its commonness. I thought I was above this inclination but found it was as true for me as for anyone else. Being suddenly limited to very short walks, initially only a block or two, was an eye opener for me. A new challenge presented itself. Could I find interesting things in my new limited radius?
Months later, I started to plan my exhibition for CONTACT 2018. I remembered my rehab and all the pictures I had been taking of things right around my neighbourhood. The “boring stuff”. Reviewing my photographs of that time, I noticed a lot of interesting and some beautiful images in my collection. My CONTACT exhibition is based on these images.
I produced a book of these images and many more as a collection of the many wonderful sights within a few blocks of my home in The Beach area of Toronto. It is not strictly, pedantically, “Four Blocks” but these images are all within a short walk of home. Some of these images were taken before that heart attack, though not many. Some are a little more than strictly four blocks from home but still well within the spirit of “close to home”. All of the images from the exhibition are in the book along with many more that fit the Four Blocks theme.
It is my hope that through these images we can begin to see our surroundings, our neighbourhood, though it may be common and familiar, as beautiful and as interesting a place as anywhere else further afield.
It is my plan to make the book available directly from Blurb very soon. In the mean time, if you are interested in it, please get in touch.