Almost every week on social media you can find a stunning photo of the Macdonald or MacKay bridges. Sometimes the towers and cables are bathed in moonlight, other times the iconic infrastructure provides a focal point to a classic shot of the Halifax or Dartmouth waterfront.
Dartmouth artist Brian Hotson understands the visual attraction of the bridges, but he’s more intrigued by the underside of the bridges, and the way the pipes and catwalks create an intricate pattern with lots of interesting angles.
“I walk and bike a lot and passing under the Macdonald Bridge. I always see something fresh. There’s always some unique perspective that I haven’t seen before and want to capture it.”
While acrylic has been his default medium over the past decade, his recent series of works focusing on the intimate details of the Macdonald Bridge are electric pink and shimmering blue digital prints drawn with a stylus on his iPad.
“We use the bridges every day. It’s hard to overstate their importance. Using pinks and purples and yellows offers another way to see the bridges,” he says. “I’m hoping these colours force a new and skewed reality of everyday things and help us notice things we take for granted.”
When the digital images are complete, Hotson says they are printed in limited runs by a Montreal printing house.
The bridge prints have been featured at shows at the Dart Gallery in downtown Dartmouth and at the Ice House Gallery in Tatamagouche. The prints are available at these galleries, as well as at Inkwell Modern Handmade in Halifax, and Hotson regularly features them on his Instagram account @bhoston.