Robert Laycock


I was born in Peterborough, worked most of my life in Toronto at the Metro Reference Library (music department) and later with AlphaPlus Centre, a literacy resource centre. Although I knew Peterborough County well, it was only after I retired that I became better acquainted with the beauty of the Northumberland landscape and I’ve made my home here since 2004.

Like most photographers I’ve had a camera in my hands all my life but only became seriously interested in making photographs after my first experience working in the darkroom. In the 80s and 90s I made black and white prints from larger negatives. I took extension courses at Ryerson (Michael Torosian, Peter Lindsay) and attended several workshops with Howard Bond in Ann Arbor.

I abandoned my darkroom when I moved to Trent Hills around 2004. Although I miss the magic of working in the darkroom, I’ve made an enthusiastic conversion to working digitally. I photograph a wide range of subjects and in the past I’ve taken an interest in the intersection of modern suburbia with the remnants of rural Ontario: pioneer graveyards, leftover barns. I’ve worked on a series of portraits of couples in care-giving relationships (One path, many journeys), something I’d like to start on again.

I enjoy working with colour, but more recently I find myself going back to monochrome prints and I’m working on scanning and printing many of the negatives that were never printed in the darkroom. I’ve had only rare opportunities to show my photographs in the past and I’m very grateful to Spirit of the Hills for the opportunity to show prints and see what others are up to.