Seth Fluker photo

Outer Circle Road: Seth Fluker


Larry Wayne Richards Gallery
Daniels Building, 1 Spadina Crescent

Opening Reception
Thursday, May 23, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Outer Circle Road is a collection of Toronto landscape photographs by Seth Fluker depicting a city’s energy in constant flux. On view in the Daniels Faculty’s Larry Wayne Richards Gallery, the work exhibited features distinct subject matter exploring the interplay between human activities and seasonal change.

The first photograph, Dufferin Grove Skate Park (2016), extends Fluker’s long-standing interest in skateboarding. This temporary skate spot, which functions as an ice rink in the winter, is scattered with fun boxes, ramps, and flat bars—a setup Fluker would have skated extensively in his youth. 

Photographs from Fluker’s series From The Way appear in the first bay. This body of work examines the snowmelt process in his Toronto neighbourhood, Roncesvalles Village. During his daily walks between mid-January and the end of March 2022, Fluker pointed his camera toward the ground and photographed the ever-changing formations of snowbanks shaped by people and nature. For this installation, he selected two pictures taken days apart in front of his neighbour’s house of frozen and melted water mixed with road salt.

In the second bay are photographs taken on April 29, 2022 of traditional and prescribed burns of High Park’s rare black oak savannah ecosystem. This resilient Toronto landscape, reliant on fire for its nourishment, has withstood over 4,000 years of climate change, insect infestations, invasive plant incursions, and human neglect. Historically, Indigenous people preserved this landscape by setting timely and managed fires to help sustain the ecosystem’s abundance, balance, and vitality. On this pandemic day, Fluker also felt rejuvenated while watching the smoke drift across familiar landscapes and dissipate into the atmosphere.

The exhibition concludes in the third bay with two photographs of waste taken in summer: Surplus Fill Material (Tommy Thompson Park) (2018) and Litter (Michener Court) (2023). This pairing alludes to human activity’s environmental impact and how our behaviours enhance and diminish our surroundings.

The exhibition’s title, Outer Circle Road, references Fluker’s connection to the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus, which he frequently cycles to. Curated by Jeannie Kim, the exhibition is being presented by the Faculty in partnership with CONTACT Photography Festival.

About the artist

Seth Fluker was born in Orillia, raised in Vancouver and now lives in Toronto. These days, as a self-taught photographer and filmmaker, he is predominantly concerned with human attachment to place and the depiction of landscapes and water cycles. Art Metropole, Hassla and New Documents have published books on his photography, which are part of the MoMA, Tate Britain and Yale University libraries. In 2017, CONTACT Photography Festival exhibited Blueberry Hill, a collection of Fluker’s Canadian landscape photographs, on 32 billboards across eight Canadian cities, with the placement of these billboards defying locality, offering viewers visual access to distant and sometimes remote spaces within the country.