Virtual Museum of Canada

Examples of Art and the Mill

Art and the Mill

Andrew Deiters's Rusting Barrel Photo
Rusting Barrel
Courtesy of Andrew Deiters (83kb)
Photography frames a moment, highlighting texture, colour and shape. If The Mill is a novel, each of these images is a phrase. The following pictures were taken throughout the Mill by local photographer Andrew Deiters, over a three-month period in the fall and winter of 2005-2006.

Artist Statement

Humankind’s impact on the natural environment is a recurring theme in my photography. I am fascinated with architecture, often industrial buildings, which have been long abandoned and largely dismissed by most as unappealing. I have an interest in how our landscape is altered and used and I find beauty in what remains. I see The Mill at Britannia Mine, to me the heart of the mine itself, as a beautiful structure frozen in time. Standing inside this giant machine that lies silent, perched on a hillside, it is not hard to imagine the intense production that once took place there. Three elements struck me during my first exploration inside The Mill: size, strength and age. I am captivated by the slow integration of this powerful construct into its organic environment. Bearing marks of the past, it continues to reveal beauty, taking on new shapes and forms with age, vandalism and decay. The Mill represents absolute fusion between the built and natural landscape.

Andrew Deiters - Ball Mill Bolts Andrew Deiters - Ball Mill Gears Andrew Deiters - Ball Mill Andrew Deiters - Car Pully Andrew Deiters - Madmax
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Andrew Deiters - Ore Bins Andrew Deiters - Rusting Barrel Andrew Deiters - Second Level Andrew Deiters - Switch Andrew Deiters - Two Windows
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Andrew Deiters Biography

Andrew Deiters was born and raised in Toronto. Andrew began taking pictures at the age of ten on family vacations in Europe. He discovered his passion for photography while attending Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. Andrew graduated in 2001 with a BA major in Geography and minor in Fine Arts. He followed up his degree with film school and camera related work in the film industry in Vancouver.

Andrew is a traditionalist. He uses a wooden 4x5 Wisner field camera and still prints by hand through a labor intensive process in a wet darkroom. Currently, Andrew is represented by the Autumn Brook Gallery in Vancouver and is creating portfolios on brick factories of rural India and Masonic Lodges in British Columbia.

Orville Fisher

Orville Fisher, Mining, Britannia Beach
Orville Fisher
Mining, Britannia Beach
Image courtesy of BC Archives
Call Number: PDP05612
“Mining, Britannia Beach” was painted in the 1930’s by the Canadian War Artist, Orville Fisher (1911-1999). At the time, Fisher was influenced by Mexican muralists such as Diego Rivera, who was a Social Realism artist. As illustrated in this painting, Social Realism depicted working class activities as heroic. This movement was popular in North America throughout the Great Depression (1929-1939).

Fisher painted various large murals. One of the most significant was a 4-panel mural for the British Columbia Pavilion at the San Francisco World’s Fair in 1938. Much like this image of Britannia Beach, it portrayed scenes from the province’s economic achievements.

Fisher is well known for his accomplishments as a war artist. On June 6th 1944, he was the only allied artist to take part in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Realizing that his art supplies were too heavy, he threw them overboard and landed with only a charcoal pencil and a small sketch pad strapped to his wrist. In 2004, Canada Post honoured him by using one of his paintings for a stamp commemorating the 60th anniversary of D-Day.

“Mining, Britannia Beach” is a testament to the importance of Britannia Mines and the heroic miners who worked hard to help build our nation.

Courtesy of Andrew Deiters Courtesy of Andrew Deiters Courtesy of Andrew Deiters Courtesy of Andrew Deiters Courtesy of Andrew Deiters Courtesy of Andrew Deiters