Portfolio: Melissa Moore's reveals how the island of Hornby has shaped her identity

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

 

Hornby is a 30km2 island situated in the Strait of Georgia, the strip of water that separates Vancouver Island from mainland Canada. A stopping-off point for the native Pentlatch nomads during the 18th century, it has long stood as a haven.

Home to just 150 people in the early 1960s – fishermen, farmers and a handful of intellectuals – its population was boosted by the arrival of a swathe of counter-culturals later in the decade.

The standing population these days is just under 1,000 – though, as Melissa Moore has noted over the course of 10 trips to the island, it is considerably less busy during winter.

"I call it the antidote to living in London," she says. "I'd go off to a cabin for three months, and have pretty much free rein to roam. There's a rugged element to Canada, and I admire the practicality of the people who live on Hornby. A lot of them moved there to get back to living off the land."

Moore first visited the island in 1999, invited by a friend who was studying its hand-built dwellings, and was immediately struck by its beauty and sense of restful isolation.

She often places herself in her photographs of this sanctuary, her face hidden, to give a sense of how the landscape has shaped her identity, her clothes – "and it's me being open to being part of this ecology, more in line with nature".

There are deer all over Hornby, and the skulls seen here are collected by a friend, who hunts the animals for food and pelts – and collecting plays a large role in island life. So remote is it (it takes three ferries and more to travel from Vancouver), that buying is less viable than ferretting and bartering.

Ultimately, says Moore, her work here is like a dream rather than a document of the island, capturing a feeling of the place. A feeling that has drawn her back, again and again.

'Land Ends' by Melissa Moore is published by Skira, priced £25

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices