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Photography General

Headlighting 1974-1978

photographs by Thaddeus Holownia

introduction by Robert Tombs

Anchorage Press
Initial publish date
Aug 2021
General, Photoessays & Documentaries, Portraits
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Aug 2021
    List Price

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"In each image of Headlighting, a single vehicle’s side view is centred in the foreground, its long horizontal shape reinforced by the geometry of the 8x20-inch frame. ... The principal allusion is that relationships develop between humans and technology. Each image’s long exposure, shallow depth of field, and tonal range confer a kind of atmosphere poetics to the mis-en-scène." — Robert Tombs

In 1974, the distinguished graphic designer Allan Fleming encouraged Holownia to use a large-format view camera — a conversation that proved instrumental in shaping Holownia’s aesthetic. Shortly after, Holownia set out from Toronto on a trip that took him into the U.S. Midwest and then east into Atlantic Canada. Each day, Holownia captured images of cars and their owners in their everyday settings, developing the exposures in makeshift darkrooms at night.

An encapsulation of the everyday life and fashions of the mid-70s and a tribute to classic vehicles of all shapes and sizes, Headlighting 1974-1978 is a compelling document of a time and a place when car culture was at its peak.

About the authors

Thaddeus Holownia is a teacher, visual artist, letterpress printer and publisher. Currently he is a professor and head of the Fine Arts Department at Mount Allison University. Holownia’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including most recently, Thaddeus Holownia: the Terra Nova Suite, a twenty-five-year survey of his Newfoundland and Labrador work presented by the Rooms Provincial Art Gallery in St. John’s. His photographs have been included in numerous group exhibitions, including The Landscape: Eight Canadian Photographers by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Klienburg, and Monet’s Legacy: Series. Order and Obsession at the Hamburger Kunsthalle. He has been the recipient of many awards and honours including a Fulbright Fellowship in 2001 and the Paul Paré Medal in 1998 and 2006 from Mount Allison University in recognition of excellence in teaching, creative activity, research and community service. In 2000 Holownia was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. In 2015 he was the recipient of the Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick’s Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts and the Order of New Brunswick.

Thaddeus Holownia's profile page

Robert Tombs is an Ottawa-based artist and designer, who is currently the president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

Robert Tombs' profile page

Editorial Reviews

“It’s a book more than four decades in the making.”

<i>Toronto Star</i>

Headlighting: 1974–1978 asks us to view the past through the lens of contradictory information. It asks us to hold competing interpretations and conflicted feelings in our minds at the same time, to see the '65 Ford Mustang as both an object of desire and an object of contempt.”

<i>Literary Review of Canada</i>

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