Gallery Meet & Greet

This evening The Reach Art Gallery held its formal Meet & Greet for the Fraser Valley Biennale, 2019 artists.
We were previously invited to indicate if we ... the artists ... would like to say a few words on behalf of our artwork and process.  I was the third speaker out of the twelve that volunteered to speak.  I think there was a total of 40 artists with juried pieces in the show.
I had a written statement all prepared that nicely fit within the two-minute time frame per artist, but when I saw the first two speak spontaneously, I ignored my beautifully prepared speech and just spoke briefly about my process and how photography is also a therapy.
Anyway, here is the speech I planned to give.

Speech for Fraser Valley Biennale, The Reach Gallery
Photography historian Beaumont Newhall once said that, Over the years, photography has been to me what a journal is to a writer-a record of things seen and experienced, moments in the flow of time, documents of significance to me, experiments in seeing.  I can truly say that a lot of what I do photographically resonates with Beaumont's words.  Photography for me, is a whole and therapeutic experience, from the smells in the air to the virtual sounds of industry, which in this case, reflect a hydro-electric powerhouse.  I have always been interested in industrial photography and fascinated by the machinery responsible for the conveniences of modern living.  And with the opportunity to work at a historical powerhouse, I was challenged to illustrate the machine works in ways that stretch one's imagination and question the norms of perspective that people expect to see.  I'm motivated by the "doing" of my photographic art practice, getting out ... just out and about with my camera(s) and rolls of film in my pockets or loaded film holders in my bag.  I'm motivated by the interplay of light and subject and the blessed opportunities to capture some of this on film.
I also like to stretch the capabilities of my equipment, which is why I like the Toyo 45 AII which this circular multiple-exposure image is made with.  If I have options, I want to explore the correlation between technical apparatus and creative expression.  This isn't the first time I've used this technique and I find that each time I'm excited by the results.
In closing, like Paul Strand, I hope my work engages viewers on some plane of deeper meaning within the context of each unique piece I make.
Bob St. Cyr   22 Nov. 2019


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