For the past year I have been making photographs between Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Fogo Island, Newfoundland, and the Isle of Skye in Scotland. These islands are situated between two worlds, both geographically and metaphorically. They’ve come to embody the old and the new, spaces where time collapses, where past and present collide. In this body of ongoing work I distill history into visual elements. The work contains ideas about immigration from Europe to the New World of Atlantic Canada. It imagines challenges of a transatlantic journey, hopes of a better life, free of famine and persecution. It represents months-long oceanic crossing, fear of a new landscape, homesteading to survive the biting Canadian winter.
Ryan Arthurs received an MFA in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2012 and a BFA in Studio Art from Carleton College in 2005. He is a photography teaching assistant at Harvard University.