On Aug 5th 2017, Mixed Company Theatre presented Photographic Evidence at the event Walk the 6 West: History on the Humber, an Ontario 150 event organized by Heritage York at the beautiful Étienne Brûlé Park.
Photographic Evidence is a short one-woman play about Geraldine Moodie, Canada’s first professional women photographer best known for her images chronicling the lives of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada’s North West and Arctic regions. After a short stay in England, Geraldine returns home to Canada when her British husband receives a position with the North West Mounted Police. On this day-in-her-life, we see Geraldine coming to a decision on the state of her suffocating marriage and voicing the frustrations of being a female artist in the 19th century. The show will also incorporate a selection of her photographs and vividly depict a young Canada on the frontier of change.
Although the play is a fictional reconstruction, it is based on true events and extensive historical research.
Canadian photographer Geraldine Moodie was born in Toronto, 1854. She comes from a long line of writers and artists including her grandmother famous pioneer writer, Susanna Moodie, her great aunt writer, Catherine Parr Traill, and her artist mother, Agnes. Geraldine met and married Robert Douglas Moodie while on an extended visit with relatives in England. He joined the North West Mounted Police after receiving a commission as Inspector in 1855 and took his family to Calgary – the first of many postings.
Known for her photography of the Indigenous Peoples from Canada’s North West and Arctic regions, Geraldine’s work became more influential and successful than many of her male contemporaries. Like many of the artists in her family, she also had a fascination with documenting the wildflowers of the Canadian wilderness. The contrasting nature of her images reflect a deeply compassionate personality torn between conflicting desires.