#1230. Backyard Gems: On the Road Again (Finally)! – Part 2 – Hedley Art

By John Wilson | Art & Creativity

Sep 21

In Part 2, we wind the clock back to the beginning of the trip, to our first stop in Hedley and The Old Trading Post. You’ll recall …


“The first stop on the outbound route east was the town of Hedley on the way to Osoyoos our first stopover. Hedley (pop.242) is an old Gold mining town dating back to 1894. The attraction for our stop was a couple of old cars in a field next to the highway that Bob and I had photographed a few years ago. But this time we ventured into the town and discovered The Old Trading Post, a treasure trove of art and artefacts;”

The Old Trading Post had a secret. Here’s the story.

The owner is a friendly, gregarious fellow with an encyclopaedic knowledge of local lore and history and a building full of bits, pieces and artefacts common to local “trading posts”. But there were a couple of paintings hanging on the walls that caught our attention and we got into a conversation about them. They were painted by fellow named Maurice Joslin an acquaintance of the owner, a handyman craftsman who also worked in metal and collected marbles. The upshot of the conversation was “Come with me. I have something to show you”. We went out the building and in a door to a room next door He closed the door to darken the room and flipped the light switch … Eh Voila!!! A roomful of metal sculptures made from old mining machinery and marbles and a collection of paintings all lit by UV/black light. JAW DROPPING!!! Unfortunately Maurice passed away nine years ago and the paintings and sculptures are now in the custody of Rod Moncrieff, the owner of The Old Trading Post.

It’s a small room with the floor space taken up with the sculptures, no room for a tripod and short shooting distances with slow exposures down to 1/10 second at ISO6400, shooting around sculptures and at times only being able to get a portion of the painting. Not ideal shooting conditions, but thanks to really good IBIS, wide angle lenses and distortion correction, the take was usable. Sunglasses are optional.


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  • Sean says:

    Wow! Wow! Wow! Trippy work isn’t it. One could be forgiven for having flashbacks of listening, at least, to, say, Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, Iron Butterfly, Joplin, Tangerine Dream, Hawkwind, etc., affected and lounging in beanbags, a darkened room with the artwork illuminated by a Black Light.

  • Nancee Rostad says:

    Spectacular! What a wonderful find! Thanks for sharing these wonderfully colorful & surprising paintings! I keep using exclamation marks because the paintings and your photographs seem to demand an excited response! Kudos, John!

  • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

    WOW! – Jackson Pollock, eat your heart out!

    These are STUNNING, John. Thanks so much for sharing them with us! Bugger the idea of wearing sunglasses to view them all – I love them just the way they are!

    • John Wilson says:

      Thanks JP. These are a little more accessible than Jackson Pollock. Pollock completely crashes our natural pattern recognition software. These don’t while still being out there, off the wall, otherworldly.

  • Steve Mallett says:

    Absolutely stunning! Light under bushel comes to mind. Thanks for sharing.

    • John Wilson says:

      Thanks Steve. They were pretty mind blowing when he switched on the UV lights … like stepping into a different world.

  • Ian Varkevisser says:

    Amazing artwork and how unique. Thanks for sharing.

    p.s. I just love how you refer to a 2000 mile trip as exploring your ‘backyard’ – very quaint

    • John Wilson says:

      Thanks Ian. As to the size of my backyard; BC is roughly 80% the size of SA and has less than 1/10th the population, so we’re pretty spread out and used to having to travel long distances. Merritt, one of our favourite shooting locations is 200mls one way and that’s just a day-trip.

      • jean pierre (pete) guaron says:

        LOL – John, Western Australia – where I live – is 975,685 sq miles – the second largest state in the world, passed only by one in Siberia. Day trips here can range up to a thousand miles, for some of our more adventurous heros!
        When I was younger I could average around 800 mile a day, if I was in a hurry. Wouldn’t want to now, though.

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