Join documentary photographer Chris Donovan and RIC Director Paul Roth, as they discuss his series The Cloud Factory, on view through June 18, 2022 in the RIC’s Student Gallery. Named Canadian Photojournalist of the Year for 2017 and 2018, Donovan has focused his work on the wealth divide and the dynamic between industry and communities. The Cloud Factory lays bare the impact of an oil company and its control over the Saint John community, where the child poverty rate is almost double the national average. Donovan intimately photographs working class families and their homes, juxtaposed against the industrial landscape and pollution that surrounds them. With his genuine and humanistic approach, he earns the trust to tell their stories and, by extension, the hidden story of a place where environmental classism runs rampant.
Chris Donovan is a documentary photographer based between Toronto and New Brunswick. Hailing from the city of Saint John, his practice focuses on the intersection of community and industry. The Cloud Factory, in the making for ten years, is his graduating thesis exhibition for his MFA in the Documentary Media Program at Toronto Metropolitan University. His work has been awarded the Scotiabank New Generation Photography Award, and was featured in a group exhibition produced in partnership with the Ryerson Image Centre and the National Gallery of Canada in 2021. He has also been awarded a coveted World Press Photo Award, the Environmental Vision Award (University of Missouri), and the Ian Parry Scholarship, and most recently, TMU’s Student Gallery Production Award – In memory of George Fleischmann. Donovan’s photographs have appeared in group shows in more than 40 countries and across Canada, including at the National Gallery of Canada.