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Harold Staats | Lost Images

This series of images began with the rediscovery of some 35mm transparency slides I had taken many years ago. They were water damaged and I put them away to dry. Now, months later they were covered in a strange, white, efflorescent, crystal-like material. I thought they had been totally destroyed, but upon closer examination, although some were damaged they still had remnants of the original picture. Others had evolved into surreal, otherworldly images. This phenomenon was a natural process and was not computer created.

“Images eroded with time but calling out from the past…hearing their haunting echo, unable to place them.

Memories faded, fighting to come into focus.

With time nature begins to devour the man made; fighting for space in consciousness; to be present, in the moment, now.

Images lost; altered by time and nature, become other worldly dreamscapes that invoke the nostalgia of long lost days, like a dream you try to remember but the more you try, the memory flees, burning the image behind it.

Photosthat had captured so many memories, left in the dark for so long, forgotten.

Nature took over and physically eroded the emulsion that kept the images preserved in place. But they will not be forgotten. Through time and nature, these  images still speak, whispering hauntingly of days gone by. Where is that? Who were you? Answering resoundingly: Although I am changed, I remain.

These are the lost images of Harold Staats


Harold Staats was born in what was then West Germany, and immigrated to Canada with his family when he was 7 years old. His older brother introduced him to photography as a child and it has been a life long passion ever since. At first landscapes and portraits were his main subjects, but his love of music naturally led him to concert photography; capturing the feeling of a performance, whether it’s sorrow, anger, love, or joy as expressed in the face and body language of the performer. Harold has been photographing concerts and festivals since the 1970s. His work includes photos of iconic stars, like David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones and Annie Lennox, to folk artists, jazz singers and talented local musicians too. He won the People’s Choice Award 2 years in a row at the Beach International Jazz Festival. He has exhibited his work in numerous galleries over the years. His work has been published in various publications including 1988 Toronto’s Toronto, (a photographic collection that was selected by the City of Toronto as an official presentation gift to visiting dignitaries). His photos are in the collections of the Toronto Transit Commission and the City of Toronto Archives, and the Museum of Rock Art in Los Angeles, California.

Harold has always been interested in the history of photography and photographic processes. He has been a member of the Photographic Historical Society of Canada for many years. He has studied at the Ontario College of Art, taking courses in Black and White Techniques, Film Processing, Colour Photography, Cibachrome Printing Techniques, Experimental Imagery and Process, Rockland Colliod, Van Dyke, Gum Bichromate, Photojournalism, Fashion Photography, and 4×5 Format Photography. He has also taken seminars at Eastman Kodak, Rochester, New York.

Joinus for the opening reception April 14th 7-10pm in our 3rd floor gallery.