Lucy DeCoutere calls herself a tumbleweed. It’s in her nature to move around, and joining the military five years ago helped. But it can also be a lonely existence — so the Trailer Park Boys actress/Canadian Air Force captain started cycling, taking photos on her iPhone and posting them to Instagram. “It was a way of keeping in touch with people,” says DeCoutere, who is currently based in Fredericton, N.B. “I had a boyfriend who was never with me — they were postcards to him to share my day. I knew when I joined the Air Force I would be travelling, but I didn’t necessarily realize how much I would miss folks.” In the last few months, as DeCoutere has found herself in the midst of the Jian Ghomeshi ordeal (she was the first woman to publicly come forward with her experience), photography has been “a lovely distraction.” From March 27 to May 1, DeCoutere’s nature and landscape photos will be shown in a solo exhibition at Toronto’s QSQ Giclee Boutique. We asked DeCoutere to tell us the story behind three of the images that will be on display.
“This was taken at King’s Landing, [a restored historical settlement] in New Brunswick. I love bees, especially since they’re having a hard go. Seeing a bee on a hot summer day just doing its thing is so beautiful. And it’s hard to shoot bees. This shot had three different speeds: the flowers waving in the air and the structure of the building behind it and then the bees.”
“This house was right on the a beach in North Rustico, PEI. It’s totally blown out — devoured by the elements and weathered so beautifully. You see right through it, and the light is so beautiful. I’m sure it’s lousy with creatures and rodents and feral cats. I like how the structure contrasted with the grass. It reminds of that Andrew Wyeth painting [Christina’s World] of the woman in a field.”
“I felt that tumbleweed cloud was there just for me — how it just kind of hung there and had no structure. Yet below us was the road, which by very existence is nothing but structure — you have to stay between the lines. I’m not going to say I stopped driving to take the picture because that would be a lie. I don’t condone unsafe driving but I took a calculated risk and shot it whilst moving. I couldn’t tell when I was shooting it if I was even getting it.”