an investigative photo documentary

Exclusive 21-page photo essay from our investigative journalist team in collaboration with award-winning photojournalist David Kawai. Location: Ottawa, Canada Copyright Wondereur 2020.

MEET with artist Meryl McMaster curated by internationally acclaimed artist Barbara Astman.

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I’M DRAWN TO THE LITTLE MYSTERIES IN THE NATURAL WORLD THAT ARE KIND OF UNEXPLAINED.
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It could be the sound of birds or when rain hits the water.
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Or the different types of wind that hit your face when you’re canoeing down the river.
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You don’t notice them when you’re in the city. It’s when you’re out in these remote landscapes that your senses switch on.
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NATURE REAWAKENS ME IN A DIFFERENT WAY.
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I always come away feeling spiritual nourishment and with a heightened understanding of myself.
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I’VE BECOME ATTUNED TO MY SURROUNDINGS, EXPLORING MY PLACE IN THE NATURAL WORLD.
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SINCE BIRTH, I’VE HAD THESE TWO TALISMANS: A LIZARD AND A TURTLE.
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They’re both water and land creatures.
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TALISMANS ARE POWERFUL OBJECTS.
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In Aboriginal culture, talismans become personal protections through life and hard times. They’re extensions of my body protecting me through this transformational experience.
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The lizard and turtle represent my parents, my Scottish and AborIginal ancestry. They also symbolize me moving freely between worlds.
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I’M TRYING TO UNDERSTAND WHERE I BELONG IN BETWEEN.
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A lot of my work makes me think about my own culture, my split heritage, my mixed background.
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I was really inspired by Sally Mann and how she created a lot of large, black space negatives with dark spots in her photographs, and I remember thinking how incredibly beautiful they are.
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I FIND THE IMPERFECTIONS TO BE THE MOST INTERESTING ASPECTS OF A PHOTOGRAPH.
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There’s a mystery behind taking photos, developing chemicals and watching it come to the surface.
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SOMETIMES, YOU START TO SEE THESE ‘COINCIDENCES.’
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I JUST LOVE THE BEAUTIFUL IMPERFECTIONS.