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Home » The Scene

Photography in the Junction captures cluster of concepts

Submitted by on May 9, 2012 – 3:01 pmNo Comment

Amongst the arts and architecture in Toronto’s downtown core, lies a practical art sometimes lost in the drift between traditional and eclectic arts and the fast-paced new and improved technological designs.

A cluster of Toronto’s best and brightest photographers gather annually for the Photography in the Junction to showcase their wares and workings, mused by the variety of holistic to by-design photographs and illustrations developed through the man-made eye. Martyr’s Devin Size visited the Latitude 44 Gallery on Dundas West for the opening gala and to take in some of the brooding culture of Southern Ontario’s hobbyist photographers.

The four featured artists at the Latitude 44 gala provided a candid cluster of the composers’ variations in stylistics. From traditional to modern, all styles were reflective of the artist behind the lens, and their affinities in their art.

Starting with the most holistic of photographers was Brian Anderson displaying the silver prints of Lake Superior which he self-developed in his dark room. Both a photographer and a musician (whose jazzy renditions echoed through the gallery all the while,) with no formal training in either, composition in traditional methods comes naturally to him.

“I shoot Lake Superior twice a year while camping. I usually go with an idea, but this time I had a concept,” said Anderson. “I had some film left after the second shoot, so I shot some randoms, which I found more exciting and I used them when I got home and did the contact sheets. It’s my first time switching like that and it was liberating to not follow a blueprint.”

Anderson doesn’t use professional developers’ services, but processes all his film manually in his dark room, wherever he might have it set up at the time.

“The only person who touches my photos besides me is when they get mounted, and I only trust one person.”

Tammy Hoy conveyed an air of surrealism and captivated the imagination of many with her metallic prints of a time-travelling stranger. Using the natural contrast of shading and lights, combined with the modernization of metallic sheet printing and post-production, her photos take the audience on a trip from past to present with her monocled subject in various ordinances of zeitgeist.

“I started taking my photography seriously in 2005 with the Toronto Urban Exploration Group,” explained Hoy. “We’d meet up and explore abandoned buildings and capture the essences of its history. I used to paint and I’m inspired by René Magritte as I used to paint, so his surreal work is what drove me creatively.”

Mark Raynes Robert is a crystal-sculpting artist before a photographer, and has been working with quartz for years before taking his hand and eye to capture his art from a different lens. He now uses his crystal sculptures and places them in naturalistic compositions to shed light on various issues of sustainability and education on the human foot-print vis-à-vis juxtaposition of man-made crystal – dating back to the middle 1600s in London, England, developed by George Ravenscroft – and natural environments.

“I drove out to Caledon and I took all these shots in an afternoon,” said Raynes. “I used this spire in different places and the lighting was perfect. The idea behind it was crystal being a man-made material, and using it as an analogy for how we can create and progress forward using natural materials modified by man, but as much as we do this it regresses nature itself and affect the planet. I use it as a metaphor to educate people on sustainability, and have used these pieces in schools.

“I’m still planning on creating 10 six feet by eight feet sculptures about the stepping stones of life and will showcase them outdoors as educational props.”

On the journey of everyday fast-paced life, the small Romantic elements of nature and space are often forgotten, and this is exactly what Moira McElhinney aimed to illustrate with her anthropomorphic vivification of trees and botanicals in her psycho-geographical representations of the finite things in life often overlooked. McElhinney’s perception of conifers on the Niagara peninsula escarpment, called the Bruce Trail, bring to its viewers eye a sense of detail and appreciation most take for granted.

“There are certain paths you take in your everyday life, that become psycho-geographical,” elaborated McElhinney. “On the Bruce Trail, sometimes you charge through the ‘walk around the block’ and don’t really stop to see the trees and details with heightened heed. I chose vertoramas composed of 5-6 photographs that give the impression of the levity of these trees.”

The illustrious concept of photography has been along for the arts and culture ride from seemingly the very beginning. Although various camera-like apparatuses had been seen for centuries, mainly used as drawing aids, photography was developed in theory in the late 1830s – as far back as possibly documented – by Sir John Herschel, an English mathematician, chemist, astronomer and botanist, and if you can believe, inventor and the first proclaimed photographer.

Photography in the Junction takes place for the month of May in the west end of Toronto on Dundas West, exhibiting 21 artists across 18 different venues, all within walking distance of each other. The exhibit is open most days from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., or until 5 p.m. on weekends. For more information and contacts visit www.junctionbia.com.

Story and photos by Devin Size


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