The Minas Basin Project

September 25, 2008

By Stacey Ho
Geri Nolan-Hilfiker's "Red Head Trail."

Geri Nolan-Hilfiker's "Red Head Trail."

Geri Nolan-Hilfiker tells me about the Minas Basin. She knows it well. Chatting over the phone, she tells me about this little spot in the Bay of Fundy, its history as a shipbuilding site. She talks about the area’s natural history, with its deposits of slate, gypsum, basalt, amethyst, old dinosaur bones. She’s picked up some of this knowledge through photographing the basin, but Geri’s lived in the area for years, clam digging along the beaches with her parents as a child.

Given a Nova Scotia projects grant, Nolan-Hilfiker spent the summer of 2005 shooting 75 rolls of film, views of the Minas Basin, looking out from the coastline towards the sea. The result is 50 images, opening this week as part of the Photopolis Photography Festival. The original idea for the project was to take photographs at ground level, the level of the sea, but given that the area has the highest tides in the world, it didn’t matter in the end if the camera was on sea level.

“It just didn’t become that important in the end. I went wherever. ‘Oh here I am at high tide! Oh this is low tide, this is interesting.’ It’s more fun to be intuitive.”

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