Happy Canada Day fellow Canadian writers! I wish you all a great day of celebrating this wonderful country we live in. I hope everybody’s ready to pick up some mini Canadian flags and wear your Canada hats! We really do live in an amazing country, and it deserves to be celebrated.
“It is wonderful to feel the grandness of Canada in the raw, not because she is Canada but because she’s something sublime that you were born into, some great rugged power that you are a part of.”
– Emily Carr
I hope Canada Day brings on inspiration!
Alexis Marie: I have loved sharing the stories and inspirations of some truly interesting individuals during the InFocus Alumni photography blog series. Are you excited about InFocus 2016? We will soon release the call for submissions and we would love to see your work. For now, I’m pleased to introduce Robert Pohl, a modern photographer engaging traditional processes.
My name is Rob Pohl. I was born in Edmonton over half a century ago and have lived here my entire life. I’ve been photographing the area specifically, but the world in general for about 35 years. I started out shooting film, and have stayed with it. I spend my working days in an office staring at a computer monitor. When I want to escape from that world and immerse myself in my photography, the last thing I want to do is spend yet more hours staring at a stupid monitor. While the masses have embraced digital photography and image manipulation software, I continue to work with film and traditional wet photography. I enjoy the relaxation and escape of the darkroom, the mixing of the chemistry, the experimentation, and the process of creating something with my hands. I shoot black and white film and process and print everything myself. In this age of digital photography that makes me a dinosaur. But I also think that it sets me apart from the masses that blast away with digital cameras. My approach is much more methodical and measured and I try to make every shot count.
Most of my work is shot with a large format 4″ x 5″ view camera. A dabble a little with medium format roll film, and with the even larger 8″ x 10″ format. I shoot mostly landscapes, landscape details, and historical images. It disturbs me somewhat that our province is falling victim to massive population growth and extensive development. Mankind seems too wrapped up in economic growth and development and seems to place little value on the natural world, and a responsibility to our planet. We all need to step back and take a deep breath and garner a little appreciation for the world around us, and what our lifestyle is doing to it. Hopefully my imagery helps to illustrate an appreciation for where we have come from, where we are going, and what the consequences are.
In early 2015 I became involved in the InFocus Photography Exhibition that has expanded from Calgary and Banff, to the provincial level. The YEG show in Edmonton that I was involved in was curated by Alexis Marie Chute. I felt privileged to be included in that show, and hope to take part in future exhibitions. I’ve included a selection of images that are typical of my work. I regularly post work to my Flickr account, and to my blog…
Alexis Marie: Are you enjoying the InFocus Alumni photography blog series? Today I would like to introduce you to Wilfred Kozub, photographer and artist of many mediums.
Wilfred Kozub, Multi media Artist
These are exciting times as I seem to have a lot of art projects on the go. I have gradually branched out from being a painter and pop/electronic musician to becoming a multi media artist.
I feel that colour and motion are the most conspicuous features in my paintings. These are elements that I typically bring to my photographic images, and to my music, too. I am now applying the same sensibility to my recent ventures in making little lyric videos to post on YouTube for my tunes. An extended music-based film titled “The Weather” will come out in the fall of 2015.
My paintings are frequently populated by swallows, magpies . . . and electrical activity. The goal has always been to engage the viewer with interesting ideas in an accessible format – keep it simple and make it striking! My painting, No One Gets Zapped is a good example of the electrical motion and vibrant colour that I’m talking about, and you can hear its audio equivalent in my song, Wilfred In The City.
Although photography isn’t at all new to me, I have recently brought my camera into action more and more with my photographic images now sharing nearly equal billing with my paintings on art cards and prints that I regularly show at the Royal Bison Art & Craft fair. My paintings have also been displayed in group and solo art shows with The Works, at the Artery, and other Edmonton gallery venues. It was a proud moment for me to ‘come out’ officially as an artistic photographer at the inaugural InFocus show for the Exposure Photography Festival in Edmonton (February, 2015). What a fine show it was, and such an excellent opportunity to have some of my new photographs displayed alongside the works of terrific Edmonton photographic artists.
My artwork and photography frequently can be seen in the graphic design for albums by my band, Wilfred N & the Grown Men. I have come to recognize the decorative quality of many of my paintings which use repetitive images (see I See By The Colour of Your Eyes That You Are One of Us). A new painting titled Delirious World has become the centerpiece for new cards and prints – and for my freshly designed, Delirious World printed silk scarves. That image is going to be expanded and transformed to be re-purposed as the cover art for my upcoming tenth Wilfred N & the Grown Men album titled Passing Through Time. A debut solo Wilfred Kozub album, “What’s Gonna Become of Us” is also in the works, and my photograph Ancient Flowers, Rome will be the cover image for that one. Lots going on! . . . I had better get to work!
Listen to “Wilfred in the City”
The Wilfred Kozub Art & Ponder Tumblr Page:
Wilfred Kozub on Soundcloud
Wilfred N & the Grown Men on Bandcamp
Wilfred N & the Grown Men on AmazingTunes
Nobody Has To Know https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yab2dUwo6J0
Wilfred In the City https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WGA9YpxXPo
Thunder on the Tundra https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVmQUZgcR_U
Alexis Marie: Continuing on in the InFocus Alumni photography blog series, I am pleased to introduce Gerry Dotto. Taking the everyday and making it interesting is quite a feat. I hope you enjoy Gerry’s images and the way he expounds on them.
On a recent trip to Boston, I visited the Museum of Fine Arts to see an exhibition of works by two historically prominent photographers: Herb Ritts and Gordon Parks. It was a great show, and the impact of seeing iconic photos up close and in person really left an impression. This experience truly underscores the importance of getting one’s photographs printed and, if the occasion arises, put on display. It’s one thing to look at a digital image on the screen, but it’s no comparison to a well-printed photograph that allows you to truly appreciate the tone, the light and the detail.
I recently had the opportunity to participate in the InFocus Edmonton exhibition, where I showed a photo from a series I’ve been developing called “Flow of Traffic Theory.” My work is conceptual in nature and is based on exploring our interaction with everyday forms of visual communication. This series originated from my fascination with the simplicity and universality of the imagery used on road signs. Specifically, signs whose words and symbols have become obscured or distorted in some way.
Over the course of the last several years, I’ve kept a keen eye out for road signs that have been damaged, run over, victims of adverse weather or compromised by construction. The interesting thing is that these signs are generally overlooked by drivers—no need to look at a sign that can’t be read. The signs, in effect, become “invisible.” The value of these signs, relative to the message they once carried, has been lost. They now take on an aesthetic value of their own, either in their appearance, the reinterpretation of their message or based on the context of their physical location. The images in this series set out to reveal the relative beauty of these objects that have lost their inherent value.
During the run of the InFocus Edmonton exhibition, I met a few photographers whose work I was familiar with but hadn’t had the occasion to meet yet. Seeing my work in relation to theirs, as well as other photos in the show, fostered some new perspectives on how I approached my own picture making. I realized that many of my photos of road signs were taking on human characteristics, in the sense that I was portraying them like they were portraits of people—people wearing masks. What are they hiding? Is it about insecurity? A secret identity? Is it a game? In the end, these photos offer more questions than answers.
Ultimately, photography is a medium about “showing” what’s in our world and, in theory, it captures “truth.” The photographic print remains the best medium for revealing the photographer’s vision. Personally, I benefitted from this exhibition experience when deeper aspects of my own work were revealed to me. While I set out to show the world my vision, I’m hiding from it, too. You can see more of my work on my website, gerrydotto.com, or contact me at email@example.com
I have been reading Edmonton Woman Magazine for years, so when they offered me a column in their glossy pages, I was honored to accept. My first article in my Alexis Marie Uncensored column was published in their May/June 2015 issue. The topic: Motherhood, just in time for Mother’s Day.
While I could write a book on my almost six years’ worth of practice being Mom, I chose to focus on what has changed and what has stayed the same over the years. In the end, moms are still crazy busy, they still put their kids first though take time for themselves and their careers, and moms still drink crazy potions their children mix together. Being a mom really is the best job.
The July/August 2015 issue is just around the corner. No spoiler alerts but I will share about my article here once it hits the newsstands.
Alexis Marie: We continue the InFocus Alumni photography blog series with photographer Martin Snider. Martin has a unique perspective on the world and I’m glad he is sharing it with us.
Thinking back, I can remember those frigid mornings spent on the barren prairies of the greater CFB Wainwright training area. I watched the brilliant pinks and oranges set fire to the sky as the sun would crest the horizon, spilling rays of light onto the frost covered blades of grass below. At the time such scenes were not often the object of my focus, however, I can recall them vividly now. On occasion though, the opportunity might arise long enough for me to snap a quick picture to send back home, serving as a postcard to a world beyond my immediate one. Without even realizing it at the time, that’s where my romance with the lens and world began.
Its been a little while now, since that chapter of snapping covert sunrise cell phone pics began. In the mean time a lot has changed. The learning curve was pretty steep for someone who’s photographic experience had been limited to taking maybe 5 rolls of film in their life (with an old film point and shoot none the less). Through much trial and error, as well as guidance from colleagues and friends, an image of my place in the photo scene is now starting to develop.
As a rookie to this, I have been infinitely fortunate in working along side some incredibly talented individuals. They have greatly aided in inspiring me, as well as guiding my course in the right direction. Being one of the featured artists in this past years InFocus YEG exhibition, has to date been one of the largest contributing factors in encouraging me to pursue my dream of becoming a professional photographer. Receiving such recognition has only given validity to my experiment in challenging perspective, while at the same time practicing my technique and creativity.
Modern technology and social media have also been highly instrumental in aiding my attempts at visual story telling. Through Instagram I’ve collected a catalogue of photos, documenting my travels, as well as moments from my day to day life. Included in this album are various highlights from a summer spent adventuring through British Columbia’s interior as well as Vancouver Island and the American Pacific North West. At this time I’m looking forward to utilizing social media further by incorporating Tumblr and Snapchat to share more of the story behind the photos.
To be able to wake up every day and live out your passion, all the while being the person who you were made to be, is the ultimate goal for me. In my eyes, that’s what true freedom is. To communicate the beauty and mystery in life through an image is what continues to give these attempts meaning and provides the drive which always draws my best foot forward. Hopefully that shows through my work and breathes authenticity in each photo.
Life is a story, how will you tell yours?
Facebook: M. Snider Photography
Alexis Marie: I am excited to kick off the InFocus Alumni photography blog series with Hedy Bach. She is a perceptive and thoughtful woman, not to mention a blossoming photographer. I hope you enjoy her words and images.
Some days opening up an email can be both joyous and a grateful surprise.
Dec 14, 2014 at 8:58 PM, InfocusYEG <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Dear Hedy Bach,
Congratulations! I am happy to inform you that your work has been selected for the inaugural InFocus Edmonton exhibition!
Alexis Marie Chute, Curator
We have chosen your following image for InFocus:
Through the encouragement of my dear friend Eva I had entered my photography work to the InFocus Edmonton exhibition…so having my photograph selected by Alexis Marie along side of other local photographer’s works for this exhibition was both exciting and humbling…now I hope these sorts of experiences will be followed by many other photography exhibitions.
As an image-maker I study how the world around me looks and sounds through ordinary harmony and fittingness. I work daily with my camera and with words to compose beautiful “thought things” (Arendt, 1978) as a way to form ideas and to inspire reflection and rumination; perhaps start a conversation. I am intentional in choosing to photograph my life with beauty… beauty as consoling, disturbing, sacred, profane; it can be exhilarating, appealing, inspiring, chilling. And it may affect us in unlimited ways. Yet it is never viewed with indifference.
Exploring Scruton’s (2009) concept of beauty, means I ask what makes an object – either in art, in nature, or the human form – beautiful? I examine how I compare differing judgements/positions of beauty when it is evident all around us knowing that aesthetic tastes vary widely. I often ask myself is there a right judgement to be made about beauty? In my image based work I try to create a sense of meaning in the beautiful objects and experiences that fill my life.
My photographs are allegories for my understandings of human desire for settlement of spaces and places in which people and things fit together. I appreciate beauty along side of my sense of “disinterested interest.” as I try to negotiate my subjectivities of looking and composing my “thought things” with ideas of why beauty matters, to see the remedy of beauty as an instrument of peace.
Please contact Hedy Bach:
InFocus 2015 was a huge success that saw over 250 people visit the exhibition at Harcourt House this past February during Exposure Photography Festival. Planning is already underway for InFocus 2016 and over the next ten months new exciting details and opportunities will be revealed! Click here to view the InFocus info page which will be updated regularly. Stay tuned for the call for submissions.
For now, here is the WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY & HOW for the next InFocus Photography Exhibit:
WHAT: A celebration of the best images and image-makers from across the province of Alberta.
WHEN: February 1 – 29, 2016
WHERE: DC3 Art Projects commercial gallery in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
WHY: “Photography is the medium of our times.” – Exposure Photography Festival
HOW: We will be opening the submissions for InFocus 2016 soon! Please check back here often for updates and submission details. Also, subscribe to the AMC blog to receive notifications. For now, prepare your best work! We look forward to your submissions. Email Alexis Marie email@example.com with your address to be added to our mailing list.
Over the next few months I will be sharing guest blog posts by the 2015 InFocus Alumni. They will write about their work and inspiration as photographers and their experience in InFocus. I’m eager to read their stories!
Here are the confirmed photographers who will be guest blogging here on Alexis Marie Art:
Below you will find contact info to help you stay connected to some of the amazing photographers from our 2015 InFocus exhibit:
Company Name: Hedy Bach consulting
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/hedy.bach
Twitter Handle: https://twitter.com/hefbach
Tumblr Page: http://hedybach.tumblr.com/
Company Name: Al Dixon Photography
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone: (780) 915 3674
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/AlDixonPhotography
Twitter Handle: @Al_D_Photo
Name: Candace Makowichuk
Company Name: Sunprint Studio
Facebook page:Photography by Candace Makowichuk
company: Akemi Matsubuchi Photography
website: www.matsubuchi.ca (website still under construction)
phone: 780 619-9783
Company Name: Glovebox Photography
Email Address: email@example.com
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/gloveboxphotography
Company Name: KTB Photography
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kevin.tuong.3
Twitter Handle: @KevinTuong
Company Name: Detour Photography
Email Address: email@example.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/detourphotography
Twitter Handle: @detourphoto
Instagram – @detourphoto
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter Handle: @ericpet
Company Name: Vivid Ribbon Photography & Design
Company Name: Karue Wachira Photography
Email Address: email@example.com
Phone: 306 830 0380
Facebook Page: Karue Wachira Photography
Twitter Handle: @Qarue
I am very pleased to announce that I have been asked to write a column for Edmonton Woman Magazine. My first article for them will be published in their May/June issue.
The column’s title: ALEXIS MARIE UNCENSORED
Oh boy, this is going to be fun!
I will be writing about all kinds of topics from sex (ooh la la), marriage, parenting, careers, feminine identity, and exercise. If you have a topic you want unearthed, or at least picked at and prodded with curiosity, comment here or pop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The uncensored quality of my column will stem from the honest approach I take in my writing. There will be no sugar coating the facts. No extreme polite, politically correct nonsense. Yes, I am a Canadian so my manners will remain intact. Still, I ardently believe we all are hungry for the meat of life, those things that really matter – delivered with all the garnishing of course. That is what my column will be: a tasty, hardy mental treat. Now that’s a mouthful! (And I’m getting hungry…)
I will post here when my articles are live (in print and online). Stay tuned!
Check out Edmonton Woman Magazine by clicking here.