Charting Churchill: South Facade, Blenheim Palace

South Facade, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock 2014 by Leslie Hossack

South Facade, Blenheim Palace, Woodstock 2014

© Leslie Hossack

As a small boy, Winston Churchill lived with his parents, Lord & Lady Randolph Churchill, and his baby brother Jack, at 29 St. James’s Place in the heart of London. Their townhouse was very close to Green Park, and not far from Hyde Park. These huge public parks provided Winston with expansive green spaces to explore close to home.

Away from home, Winston often visited his grandparents, the Duke & Duchess of Marlborough, at Blenheim Palace. Here was Winston’s preferred playground. Over 2,000 acres of private parks and gardens surrounded the palace. From Blenheim, Winston wrote to his mother: “The gardens and Park are so much nicer to walk in than the Green Park or Hyde Park.”

Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace in 1874. Today, Blenheim Palace, a World Heritage Site, is described by UNESCO as follows. “The Palace sits within a large walled landscape park, the structure by Vanbrugh overlaid by the designs of Lancelot “Capability” Brown from 1761 onwards. The design and building of the Palace between 1705 and 1722 represented the beginning of a new style of architecture and its landscaped Park, designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown, is considered “a naturalistic Versailles.”

The image featured above is part of the limited edition collector’s portfolio created by Leslie Hossack to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of Sir Winston Churchill. She presents locations that chart Churchill’s personal and political life, from his birth at Blenheim Palace in 1874 until his death in London in 1965. THE CHURCHILL PHOTOGRAPHS are part of Hossack’s larger body of work that explores Nazi architecture in Berlin, Stalinist structures in Moscow, contested sites in Jerusalem, a Cold War bunker in Ottawa, NATO’s Headquarter Camp in Kosovo, and buildings linked to the Japanese Canadian internment during World War II.

To view more photographs, please visit Leslie’s website.

best diner stools found in summer snack bar

Coffee Break, Hotel Kenney Snack Bar, Jones Falls 2007

© Leslie Hossack

Located about 130 kilometers west of Ottawa, Hotel Kenney was built in 1877 on the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For decades the hotel was operated by four successive generations of the Kenney family. They sold the property a year after this photograph was taken, but the new owner seems to cherish this historic summer hotel as much as the Kenneys did. The vintage snack bar pictured here has acquired a new foundation outside and a new tile floor inside; but it still retains the old look and feel, and above all it still has the original red stools.

When I first set out to photograph diners, I needed to identify my own defining characteristic. So for me, a restaurant is a diner only if it has a counter with chrome stools, and the wonderfully unique stools at the Hotel Kenney Snack Bar are my favourite stools of all.

In 2007, I photographed more than 30 diners, both vintage and contemporary. These include classics such as The Templeton in Vancouver, and lost icons such as The Canary in Toronto and Bens in Montreal. This is a study of retro diners from Atlantic Canada to the Pacific Coast.

Public spaces and familiar items from previous generations fascinate me. I love the way the camera allows me to attribute elevated status to everyday objects and places, to portray the inclusive as exclusive – even diners.