James Helmer

Contemporary Photographer
I Sleep in the Sun Parlour
Nationality: Canadian
Biography: James Helmer is a postgraduate of Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. His interest in photography explores overt relationships between journalism and art. His work captures the accurate depiction of nature and contemporary life. James... MORE
Public Story
I Sleep in the Sun Parlour
Copyright James Helmer 2023
Updated Mar 2023
Topics Community, Documentary, Fine Art, Photography
I Sleep in the Sun Parlour is an interdisciplinary project of contemporary photography. It takes place in Canada's southernmost region and includes images taken over two years during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Electoral District of Essex South set the boundaries for the project. The photographs, tagged with the location, recorded at or below 41.7 degrees north latitude, allow the viewer to decide what connects and distinguishes the subjects from the region.
I watch the waves from the concrete docks and listen to the sounds of the seagulls. I encounter moments of mystery and beautiful imperfection, scenes, and objects that take surreal, allegorical qualities. I walk. The past is never gone but appears and reappears endlessly as a reoccurring dream.
The glacial period left behind habitats for wildlife. Wetlands, dunes, and alvars. The earliest evidence of life dates back to the Devonian Period when a tropical sea covered the area. After the glaciation, Lake Erie emerged, and the plants and animals followed. People arrived. They crossed the land. Sometimes two or three generations together. Some held the hands of the children.

On Pelee Island, they found artifacts. I listened to stories of prohibition and a native legend of Hulda’s Rock. I am here. I explore the 42nd parallel in the southernmost community in Canada. I wander landscapes and habitats and photograph things I encounter. Under the gaze of a thousand birds, I witness a spectacle.

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