Solstice | A Group Project

BY PATRICK LA ROQUE

For me it was an arctic cold morning and the sun had yet to rise. I fired up my iPhone and said hello to the guys who were online... I remember Bert saying he was sitting at the edge of a damp forest, a new hunter on his first big game outing. Derek was wandering through a dark, overcast afternoon and Robert had already enjoyed the warm onset of summer. Realities.

On December 21st 2014, all seven of us left our homes—wherever we were—and headed out with our cameras in tow. We were in different time zones, different seasons at various times of day or night and we'll be doing it all over again come June—the project is SOLSTICE.

The concept of a common project has been on the table ever since we first began imagining this collective. It only made sense. But geographical constraints, individual schedules and commitments, it all ended up constantly pushing any ideas to the sidelines. Over time, we also realized we didn't necessarily want to be bound by a single topic or anything that would force an agenda down the road. We wanted this first group project to reflect the work we had done so far; a tapestry more than a manifesto.

The symbolic nature of the solstice is extremely rich in meaning: it is at once the apex and the lowest point, both hemispheres plunging into either darkness or light. Historically and culturally it is the rise and the fall, the beginning or the end of a new cycle. Its very nature is governed by shadows, incoming or outgoing—something we've chosen to define ourselves by through our name. It felt like the perfect unifying theme.

We imposed no guidelines beyond the calendar date itself, no goal or motive beyond synchronicity. These are to be snapshots of where and who we were on the longest and shortest days of the year: the last solstice of 2014 and the first of 2015. Seven photographers searching their individual landscapes, aware of others on the exact same journey.

Obviously the project isn't over and until it is we won't really know what form it'll ultimately take; but we wanted to let you in on the secret and share some of the images with you. 
More to come.

Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada