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Florence Debeugny

Raised in France and immersed in reclaimed architecture of past eras, Florence Debeugny consequently focus her artistic practice on architecture photography to examine the changes taking place in BC industrial environments where she documents abandoned or partially run down structures before they disappear. For 16 years, her photo-documentary work has included the mining, fishing and forestry industries and addressed the issues of how quickly buildings, closed for economic reasons, disappear along with the elements of culture they encompass.
 
In video installations such as Almost Gone, Maillardville 100 years and beyond, and Giants Leap, she has integrated her photographs with ambient sounds, video and interviews to explicitly convey the layers of human experience impacted by industrial and urban changes. Her work raises questions of progress, architecture preservation, housing and culture.
 
She has also developed a photographic abstraction style as seen in the series Deterioration, Through, Precaution and Night Language. In industrial sites, she comes across shapes, lines and layers within the larger visual context which she studies closely, producing abstracted images, sometimes involving optical effect. Rather than digitally transforming the images, her artistic process focuses on careful composition while photographing, to deepen her sense of observation.
 
 
Project Description: The art sound composition Ioco, Belcarra, Port Moody observes the impact of major changes that started to occur in the last few years in these three locations. Most of the 1920’s Ioco townsite property owned by Esso, formerly Imperial Oil, has been sold in 2015 to a Vancouver developer.  
 
After a notice of eviction for June 2014, the residents of the Belcarra South Cottages (situated in Port Moody, except for one in Belcarra) have been engaged in an ongoing battel to retain the right to live in these seven cottages, despite Metro Vancouver’s intention to destroy this heritage community. The largest house on the property, the Bole House, was built from 1934 to 1942. The extension of the Evergreen Skytrain line through Port Moody will certainly transform this small village-like neighbourhood into a modern and bustling suburb.
 
Past memories and present stories in a human-scaled environment are slowly confronted with the loud noises of densification via demolition, construction, transportation and commercial malls that will take over these last traces of a vanishing way of living.