Habitus

Habitus is a series of photographs of duck blinds (or hides) that are located on Wolfe Island near Kingston, Ontario. This work is part of my ongoing interest in landscape, place, and culture. The duck blind is an icon of rural culture that is familiar to hunters and inhabitants of communities that are located around bodies of water. It is a provisional man-made structure inserted into a wetland setting and decorated with natural camouflage materials such as rushes, reeds and branches and is used by hunters to disguise their presence. Waterfowl are attracted to the feeding area by duck decoys, which are placed strategically near the blind.

The duck hunt is not only a gathering of like-minded sportsmen performing an annual ritual, but is also a form of cultural tourism bringing economic opportunities to locals as tour guides and advisors to sport hunters. This series is an examination of the habitus of a community through the vernacular architecture of the duck blind and reflects on rural traditions and histories that are tied to place, culture and economic factors.

Habitus reflects on French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu’s concept, which describes the habitus of individuals or groups of individuals as a form of cultural “baggage,” that varies from stratum to stratum in society, and that is socially valued and devalued in comparison with the habitus of others, according to social culture and economic capital.