Tough Guys And Cherry Blossoms – A Preview

Last week was that annual week in Vancouver where the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and we get to cycle through giant pink tunnels. It’s like nature’s version of a Disney ride. And every year people (myself included) are amazed anew at how over the top the whole display is. I mean you really have to see it to believe it.

I’ve been working on a project called ‘Tough Guys and Cherry Blossoms’ through which I want to explore notions and perceptions of toughness. Is toughness something that we can see at first glance? Or does the toughness we perceive at first glance belie something contradictory underneath? We all have a different outlook on what it means to be tough, and I think that makes it a really interesting subject to explore.

I’ll be revealing more from this series very soon, but for the moment I wanted to show you this image I made of Darren, a man who has spent some time in correctional facilities both in Canada and the US. You can read a little bit more about Darren under the photo…..


I think most of us would agree that Darren, a guy with tattoos who’s spent time behind bars, fits a certain stereotype of a ‘tough guy’. But if I tell you that Darren is an animal lover and was convicted for liberating lab animals, would that change your perception? We’re all prone to making quick judgements in a pretty instinctive and subconscious way, and this project is my way of holding up a mirror to that thought process. I’m not sure all the photos are quite as good as Darren’s, but there’s definitely some beauties in amongst them!

Stay tuned for more.