That Inscrutable Owl - Jack DavisFriday, January 21, 2011
It is strange how for no reason at all, and if there is one, I do not know of it, I thought about Jack Davis today. I know littlea bout him. He was both a Federal and Provincial politician. It was as the latter role that I photographed him in the early 80s (when he was a minister for Bill Bennett) and then around 1990 when he was the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources for Bill Vander Zaalm.
Jack Davis was one of the smartest politicians in Canada who somehow, before he died in 1992 had a ruined reputation. The two b+w pictures look like I photographed him somewhere in a very early false creek, near Gastown, before it was developed. The colour picture, 1990 I took in Canada Place. I remember that at the time I liked to use the Dutch tilt which involved twisting my camera in one direction, I also used a grid spot.
In both cases I remember that Davis was direct and brief with me. I felt like I was taking the picture of a remote man who resembled an inscrutable owl. When I photographed his boss, Premier Bill Bennett who was famous for being an introvert in the presence of the media or crowds, I found Bennett charming and talkative. I would have never suspected that.
There is some interesting information in Rex Weyler’s book Greenpeace – How a group of ecologists, journalists, and visionaries changed the world, 2004 that features an exchange between Jack Davis and Vancouver author and Greenpeace founder Ben Metcalfe. It has all to do with the fact that Jack Davis, as a Rhodes Scholar and engineer was an expert on nuclear energy.
Rex Weyler's Book