I began collecting and curating what I consider a type of “outsider art” that had been created by diverse individuals for a particular function and use. By combining various materials usually found within their reach and in some cases, with the most comical primitivism, these unintentional “sculptors” have built unique and personal water pipes worthy of interest beyond their intended purpose. — Joel Stevenett
Photographer Joel Stevenett explores Vancouver’s reputation as “Canada’s Amsterdam” by documenting the many eclectic features of the water pipe. Often the central symbol of softer drug culture, Stevenett is fascinated with how these mundane, disconnected objects can transform into a utility full of personal expression. With bare and sterile backgrounds, the pipes become artifacts for an almost anthropological study of each shape, color, and detail. It is this break with their typical surroundings that allows Water Pipes to be viewed as an aesthetic history of an often taboo world.
This post was contributed by photographer and Feature Shoot Editorial Assistant Jenna Garrett.