Marjorie Meister

Stefano Amongst the Vines
photograph collage
14 x 16.25 in.

Two years ago, I was struck with awe by Stefano Marmina’s incredible work and vision. I wanted to show people his remarkable beauty, thought, humbleness, and pride within his intense, pure, hard labor. I feel he, and those like him working in residential construction, deserve enormous respect for the work they do.

My documentary photographs show Stefano Marmina singularly* transform a run-down six-plex into a beautiful apartment building and site where he resides. To emphasize the reality of the price on his and people’s hands in construction, I incorporated photographs of his worn-out gloves. I capture the fact that Stefano did not use heavy machinery; instead he used his muscle and brain power. At times, I contrast Stefano’s strength with his sensitivity by photographing him doing his masonry work in-between his grapevines, pole-beans, tomatoes and trees he so lovingly planted and nurtures. His reason for doing it all is, “To leave some beauty to the city.”

I am honored to have had Signore Marmina’s trust to present him and his work. I hope my artwork increases the much needed respect for all skilled laborers and trades-people everywhere.

* you will notice in the photographs that he is always working alone due to the lack of skilled workers in our community. Because of such lack of respect for skilled laborers and trades people, Canada is currently experiencing a crisis in the building sector.

© Marjorie Meister