Written by Guest Blogger: Brett Leigh Dicks
As a photography-obsessed teenage I used to covet the small selection of monographs the high school library dedicated to the medium. It was there in the sterile scholastic surrounds under the dull glow of neon light that I first encountered the work of Ansel Adams, Henri CartierBresson, Robert Frank, and Edward Weston.
While my informative inspiration was somewhat restricted one saving grace was the school had a rudimentary darkroom.  Having constantly ditched class to disappear into the darkroom, I pretty much failed dismally academically, but walked away from High School with a photographical education of the highest order.
Over the ensuing years I was introduced to the work of Australian photographers – Max Dupian, David Moore, and Grant Mudford. It was the latter’s work that really struck a chord and set me on the path to finding my own photographic voice. Grant’s elegant black and white planar images of the American west capture my heart and soul. Australia was short on grandiose Ansel Adams-esque landscapes, but it had decaying back-road Australiana and that’s where I honed my craft.
Through Grant Mudford I was introduced to some of his inspirations and the work of some of the great American urban and rural explorers – people like Robert Adams, William Eggleston, Stephen Shore and Grary Winogrand – which in turn introduced me to the “New Topographic” movement which sort to detach itself from stylized subjection in documenting man-altered landscapes.
With “Opposing Forces” about to be launch into the world thanks to the Diefenbunker, my thoughts have turned to my next project.
In making my way to Ottawa I retraced a journey Stephen Shore made almost fifty years ago for his “Uncommon Places” series. I placed my camera in the exact same location Shore place his to take the same photograph he did all those years before. It has been an eye-opening experience witnessing how America has changed for the period of five decades –  and how it hasn’t.
Shore 01
Shore 02

Shore 03

Shore 04

Opposing Forces Exhibition Launch and Artist Talk | Thursday August 2, 7-9pm

Come meet the artist, Brett Leigh Dicks, and learn about his collection of photographs on display in the Diefenbunker’s Vault. You’ll also be the first to hear about his intriguing Cold War journey with his photographs from Santa Barbara, California to the Diefenbunker in Ottawa. Reserve your free tickets on Eventbrite.
Brett’s exhibition “Opposing Forces: Photographs of Abandoned Nuclear Missile Bases” will be on display at the Diefenbunker from August 2 – September 9, 2018.


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Diefenbunker Introduces new Visitor Experience Manager
Livin’ the Guide Life
Artifact by Air
Snow Day? S’No Problem! Strengthen your spy skills with these at home crafts!
100 years ago, the guns fell silent.
Artifacts and Archives: Behind the Scenes
"The mountains opened, and two missiles appeared into the sky.”
Light in Blast Tunnel
There’s been an incident at the Bunker.
Thankful for Freedom: A Cold War Thanksgiving
Dash for Survival: Olympian Edition
Welcome to the Undead Army
Unconventional Spaces: Renting the Diefenbunker
Igor Gouzenko: The Anniversary of his Defection
75 feet under: Behind-the-Scenes in the Machine Room
EIGHT: Arrival
SIX: The Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex
FIVE: Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site
FOUR: Mt. Rushmore and the greatness of hope
THREE: The Power of the Atom – Idaho’s Experimental Breeder Reactor I
Who needs Vesper, when you have Moores?
TWO: Wendover Airfield – Home of the Enola Gay
ONE: Bye Bye Blackbirds – Cold War Relics in the Californian Desert
Prologue: Destination Ottawa (via Tucson and Calexico)
Blog: Spy Camp Week 1, The Art of Espionage
Diefenbunker Appoints a New Executive Director
Adventures from the Coldest Part of the Cold War- ONLY 2 DAYS AWAY!!
Marc Adornato’s Ruined Landscapes- Opening April 5, 2018 at the Bunker!
Mission Report- Easter at the Bunker
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Introducing Agent ‘H’
Book Now