photoED Magazine - WINTER 2022/23 - Botanicals

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SPECIAL EDITION

WINTER 2022/2023

BOTANICALS CURATED BY PEPPA MARTIN

$7.95


JULYA HAJNOCZKY at the last judgement we will all be trees BDes, 2013, Photography, Alberta University of the Arts

“My work is a critical examination of our relationship with the natural world. Using a high-resolution scanner as my camera, I compose intimate portraits of ecosystems, fragmented, speculative near-future landscapes. The images are elegiac, dark, mourning; showing us not the rich world we live in, but the world we are about to lose.”

obscura-lucida.com

A diverse community of critical thinkers driven by curiosity and inspired by imagination AUArts.ca @AlbertaUArts


RACHEL NIXON Vancouver, BC

THE GARDEN OF MAGGIE VICTORIA

“ My ongoing project honours my great-grandmother, who was mostly forgotten after dying at an early age in 1943. The series combines family archives with my own contemporary images to recognize her talent as a gardener. I aim to restore the story of a woman to whom I owe my existence.” rachelnixon.com

IN THIS ISSUE 8 RESOURCES WE LOVE By Alan Bulley

+ FEATURING:

10 PLANTS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: CONVERGING PASSIONS By Ali Penko

CAROLYN CHENG

ASHLEY SENJA

DANNY CUSTODIO

JULYA HAJNOCZKY

13 THE BIPOC PHOTO MENTORSHIP PROGRAM By Heather Morton

ERIN MCGEAN

SALLY AYRE

JENNIFER LONG

ANNA CHURCH

29 COLLECTING DUST RYAN VAN DER HOUT A conversation between Kerry Manders + brandy ryan

JOE ATIKIAN

CHERRY ARCHER

T.M. GLASS

AKEMI MATSUBUCHI

48 SOLAR-POWERED: PHYLLIS SCHWARTZ’S LUMEN PRINTS By Peppa Martin

WALTER RAEMISCH

DEEDEE MORRIS

JEROME CLARK

ALEX NEUMANN

55 THE GALLERY: Submissions by our readers

ORYSA STEIN


C A P T U R E W I N T E R

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CURATOR’S NOTE

ON BOTANICALS FROM THE INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY

“It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera... they are made with the eye, heart and head.” — Henri Cartier-Bresson

to today, botanicals have appeared throughout the timeline of the medium. From the early cyanotypes of English botanist Anna Atkins, to the sensuous blooms in dye transfer prints by Robert Mapplethorpe, the long history of art records our fascination with botanicals of all kinds. It has been exciting and rewarding to review the diverse images submitted for this edition and to see the compelling ways photographers explore the natural world. Many found new voices or sought comfort during the pandemic, such as Jennifer Long and Ryan Van Der Hout. For others, such as artists Danny Custodio, Phyllis Schwartz, and T.M. Glass, botanicals are consistent elements in their lives and work. Botanicals are an enduring unifier; their beauty entrances all but the incurable.

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The contemporary artists selected to appear in this issue have presented unique perspectives and mastery of this evolving medium. My vision for this special edition was to showcase the selected works as we might experience them in an art gallery. Slowly, with contemplation, and with room to breathe. I hope you enjoy the outstanding work featured in this latest issue in the same way you might savour viewing an exhibition or photobook. With the onset of winter, may this issue bring warm rays of delight and inspiration. Your issue curator, Peppa Martin IG: @thecommotion.ca thecommotion.ca

If you’re a patron or subscriber, isn’t the Ryan Van Der Hout fine art print a divine addition to your copy of this issue? It’s been such a pleasure to work with United Contemporary, Akasha Art Projects, Clear Bags, and Hahnemühle paper on this extra-special limited edition feature.

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WINTER 2022/2023 ISSUE #66 ISSN 1708-282X EDITOR/PUBLISHER

PhotoED Magazine is published 3x/year, SPRING, FALL, & WINTER See www.photoed.ca for subscription and advertising information. Publications Mail Agreement No. 40634032 PhotoED Magazine 2100 Bloor St. West, Suite 6218 Toronto, ON M6S 5A5 This issue was made possible with the assistance of the Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, and the Government of Canada.

Rita Godlevskis /rita@photoed.ca

Ruth Alves Alan Bulley Kerry Manders brandy ryan Peppa Martin Heather Morton Ali Penko ART DIRECTOR

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

COPY EDITOR

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COVER IMAGE

Supernatural 4 by Anna Church

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GET INSPIRED

PICKED FRESH FOR YOU A few resources to help you cultivate some fresh ideas BY ALAN BULLEY

FLOWER: EXPLORING THE WORLD IN BLOOM Phaidon Editors, with an introduction by Anna Pavord Grey skies getting you down? Open a copy of Flower and step into all the colours of a perpetual summer. The book is a beautiful catalogue of how flowers have been portrayed in historical and contemporary art. Photography is well represented so you’ll see Robert Mapplethorpe and Karl Blossfeldt, but you’ll also come across work by T.M. Glass, Nobuyoshi Araki, and even Martin Parr. Each page highlights a single work with a brief contextual discussion and draws attention to key features, and is printed at the highest quality. Treat your eyes and inspire your own photography! Hardcover, 2020, 352 pages $74.95 + shipping Phaidon www.chapters.indigo.ca

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THE GARDENER Director Sébastien Chabot Films Reflektor, 2016 Filmed over the course of four seasons near La-Malbaie in Quebec’s Charlevoix region, The Gardener tells the story of the Jardins de QuatreVents (Gardens of the Four Winds). A testament to the vision of Francis Cabot, the gardener in question, the gently paced documentary contemplates the pleasure of designing and enjoying beautiful spaces. The movie is not only a window on the beauty of the evolving gardens, but also gives a glimpse into Cabot’s mind as he creates and anticipates his visitors’ responses. He claims, “Gardeners are all, I suppose, trying to recreate the Garden of Eden.” 88 minutes (full length on Prime) 44 minutes (TV version on CBC Gem) Also available in French as Le jardinier

ALTERNATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY More and more, plants are not just the subject of photographs but also the substance. As we try to reduce our impact on the planet, it is good to be aware of natural options that are less likely to poison the environment (and ourselves!), particularly in connection with wet darkroom processes. The UK’s Alternative Photography website presents information about alternative processes such as how to brew your own chemistry (think coffee, mint leaves, or seaweed), and also gives readers the chance to connect with like-minded artists, and to view and exhibit work. Canadian photographers will get value from the excellent online bookstore, given restrictions on shipping chemicals internationally. www.alternativephotography.com


Edward Scissorhands Prime, Disney+

Promoting Contemporary Visual Arts Since 1988

The Blue Dahlia iTunes

Steel Magnolias Netflix, iTunes Tulip Fever Netflix, iTunes

Driving Miss Daisy Prime, iTunes

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Prime, Disney+

The Secret Garden iTunes, STARZ

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A RETRO CINEMATIC BOUQUET Not in the mood for a gallery or a book, but still looking for (very loosely) floral themed inspiration!? Hit the remote with your green thumb for some retro movie fun!

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PLANTS AND PHOTOGRAPHY: CONVERGING PASSIONS BY ALI PENKO

IMAGE BY ALI PENKO “ I created this piece from my heart. It is a collage of new photographs and old. The beautiful, the prickles, and the forest where I find my daily peace.” 10 photo ED


PLANTS START FROM A SEED. CREATIVITY STARTS WITH AN IDEA. They are cultivated and, with hard work and perseverance, grow until they flourish. Their creator can take pride in the finished product and share the fruits of their labour. Plants are like people. They have personalities. They have feelings. They hurt and love. Some plants grow together and help each other. Some plants poison and kill each other. Plants are not silent. They speak loudly. Their leaves rustle in the wind. Their trunks creak as they shift and sway. Large and abundant fragrant blossoms let us know that they are happy; withering and yellowing leaves let us know that they are sick. The connection between photography and nature is strong because they both have the ability to evoke emotion and memories that transport us to a different place in time. Lily of the valley, bleeding heart, and a basket of freshly picked cherries left on the back porch remind me of my grandparents. I cannot see, smell, or touch any of these plants without thinking of them. These represent some of my earliest memories, snapshots. Photographs have the same effect. Looking at old pictures takes us back to moments in time. They transport us to a memory, a person, or a place. Gardens and photography are science and art. In order for them to thrive they require caregivers with good instinct, observation, and patience. Both require planning, experimenting, trial and error, and, most importantly, vision.

My knowledge of the connection between nature and photography comes from my experience working as a photographer and a horticulturist over the last 25 years. Photographing plants and gardens has been my lifelong passion. I have travelled to many gardens throughout the world. These special places speak volumes about the history and culture of a place. Gardens reveal the importance of certain plants within an economy. The designs and locations of the gardens speak of the importance of architecture and green space within the community. Photographs are created for many reasons but traditionally to capture a moment in time. The way that plants are in nature is also often the same. The way it looks can change in an instant. A strong wind blows the blossoms off the tree, petals from the tulips drop. There one minute, gone the next. When photographing plants and gardens, I use the parameters of my tool, my camera, in an attempt to capture the spirit of the nature around me. I look to see if there is an opportunity to show contrast or relationships that the plants have with their surroundings. I walk around the subject and look at it from all sides. I take my time. Sometimes, I go back to the same location at a different time of day or a different season to see how it changes. My goal is creating images that connect with my audience. If I can I take them to a memory of somewhere they have been before, inspire them to travel, or give them the sense of peace and happiness that I feel when I am in nature, I have done my job.

IG: @alipenkophotographer alipenko.com photo ED 11


VENTURE. OBSERVE. CONNECT.

Retrospective Backpack 15 Photo Credit: @curlystreets

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Contemporary art from a prairie perspective Subscribe today for $22/year at BlackFlash.ca Cover: Cover: Zachary Zachary Ayotte, Ayotte, Untitled Untitled from from “Notes “Notes on on Digging Digging a a Hole,” Hole,” 2020. 2020. Courtesy Courtesy of of the the artist. artist.


BIPOC TALENT IN BLOOM BY HEATHER MORTON

ONE OF THE MOST DYNAMIC things about the BIPOC Photo Mentorship Program (BPM) is how diverse our mentees are in terms of their interests and the challenges they face as they emerge towards professional practice.

Mentee Natalie Asumeng had long worked with elements of nature and the mentorship program came at an opportune time to help her move her work forward in meaningful ways as she pushed through pandemic and post-post-secondary graduation malaise. She says, “As I graduated during the height of the pandemic, lots of art grads lost their passion to make work, including myself. I wanted to break out of that mindset, so I applied for the mentorship to see if that would give me the spark of creativity I needed. Joining the BIPOC Photo Mentorship Program was the beginning of a new desire to continue being an artist outside of school.”

ABOVE: “Growth” from the book Amity. The concept of this image is that the earth is growing with the rocks, engulfing it within its core, soon to become one. It represents how friendship grows and is inspired by the saying “you are who you surround yourself with.”

Natalie Asumeng and Jessica Thalmann (inset).

Pandemic pressures weren’t all bad. In fact, Natalie seemed to lean into it: “The absence of institutionalized value systems led to non-traditional spaces such as living rooms becoming used as studios and gallery spaces where individuals felt safe to play with different mediums and forms of creating.” She goes on to describe her project A Dimension of Creative Invasion and Identity Confrontation: “This scene (next page) represents a moment of time and the act of deconstructing aspects of one’s identity through creative play within an everchanging sanctuary.” Natalie worked with mentor Jessica Thalmann who helped her continue to photo ED 13


explore her work with natural elements, eventually creating two books and securing a grant through the Ontario Arts Council. The variety of opportunities on the BPM website meant that Natalie’s interests in bookmaking, grant writing, and learning more about artist-run culture were matched with Jessica, who recalls, “Natalie’s editorial and fashion work was engaging and unusual, and I was most of all impressed with her uncanny ability to combine text and image in a compelling way. Her design sensibility was fresh and all her work was imbued with a sense of surrealism and intimacy. Her books Sunsum (2021) and Amity (2022) are my favourite works she has made over the course of the pandemic and this mentorship.”

ABOVE: From a collaborative series with Ceramicist Tamara “Solem” Al-Issa for a project called DEALR Project. The name of the series is A Dimension of Creative Invasion and Identity Confrontation. Our project was an attempt to explore the rebirth of post-

modernist play by creating a scene where the imagery is ironic, liminal, and surreal. BELOW: From the series Candle Holder. This image uses the playful concept of turning food into everyday objects: in this case, candles.

Natalie credits her time with the BPM as crucial in getting these books made. She says, “Having sessions with Jessica inspired me to create two books. Sunsum is about reflection for people who might feel overwhelmed by life. Through images and poetry, the book encourages readers to focus on taking a break and absorbing the nature and the environment around them. The photographs are close-ups of locations engulfed in vegetation. This guides the viewer towards the greenery and examining and observing its ordinary yet unique appearance. “My second book Amity is about the process of friendship. Through an abstract concept, I tell the story of how relationships are formed and how they can fade away. Creating these books with my mentor’s guidance helped me kick-start my passion. Within our sessions, we also discussed the gallery industry and my aspiration to pursue different creative careers to better myself as an artist.” Though the mentorship has officially ended, Natalie and Jessica are still in touch. Natalie is still working with botanicals and food and is currently the Educator in Residence at Doris McCarthy Gallery. Jessica’s commitment to mentorship has prompted her to join the BPM steering committee while she continues to offer mentorships. She echoes a familiar sentiment among mentors involved in BPM when she says, “Mentoring and teaching is a significant part of my practice that I cherish. Some of the most meaningful moments and best words of wisdom in my career have been shared by watching and assisting other artists and I want to pay that forward to a new generation of photographers.” For more information and to join the program, please visit www.bipocphotomentorship.com and follow us on Instagram: @bipocphotomentorship

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Calling the Photo Thrifty! As the cost of everything is on the rise, there’s one thing you can count on to stay behind the times: admission to our fairs and sales. Not to mention that admission to our auctions has always been free! So if you’re looking for great budget-friendly photo equipment at pre-2022 prices, check out the website below for our 2023 events!

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BOTANICALS CURATED BY PEPPA MARTIN

Since inception, photography has evolved through three distinct eras: plate, film, and digital. With the advent of new technologies, each previous method was thought to become outdated, and abandoned in favour of new, exciting developments. In this special issue, we find this perception to be wholly disproved. Here we discover that photographers continue to embrace the gamut of artistic approaches, from vintage alternative processes through to current applications of augmented reality, generative and digitally manipulated work. Indeed, botanicals have been a source of inspiration for artists throughout the history of the medium, and continue to be a constant and reliable subject for any desired style, mood, and method. I’m excited to present this selection of thoughtful work by talented lens-based artists, as both a celebration and a legacy in print.


CAROLYN CHENG Poppy Study Toronto, ON

I am captivated by the poppy’s symbology with those we’ve lost, as a painkiller, and as an emblem of regeneration. Through solarization, haloed contours, and an ethereal silvery glow, I upend our normal sense of light and dark. I explore the full life cycle of plants, working with universal themes of vitality, protection, and fallibility. Meanwhile my own views on these issues have shifted with age and through the lens of a global pandemic.

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DANNY CUSTODIO FLOWER CARPETS/TAPETES FLORIDOS St. Catharines, ON

Each year during religious festivals, citizens on the island of São Miguel, Azores, line the streets with carpets made of flowers for people to walk on during processions. The neighbourhood works together to blanket the cobblestone streets with wood chips and local seasonal plants. Wooden frames are built or inherited and are unique to each home. Flowers commonly used include hydrangeas, calla lilies, roses,

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and daisies. As the son of Portuguese immigrants from São Miguel, I have always been fascinated by this tradition. During a visit to the Azores as a child, I remember helping my aunt and uncle create their section of flower carpet that spanned from one end of their house to the other. The smell of the freshly picked flower petals and greenery was intoxicating and only intensified

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once they were tread upon. Each frame is created by hand and passed down from generation to generation. Growing up in Toronto’s Little Portugal gave me a strong sense of belonging within the Portuguese community. Moving to St. Catharines, I felt disconnected from my heritage. As a way to reconnect, I’ve created my own flower carpets. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins

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have shared their traditions with me helping me to create my own contemporary take on this practice. I want viewers to take away a sense of cultural history, family, and pride that connects traditions from the past to their present.

dannycustodio.com

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ERIN McGEAN Blue Anne & Joy Toronto, ON

Deconstructing images to create something new is my ongoing obsession. My inspiration comes from my experiences as a female and a mother and a lifelong connection to the natural world. With books and magazines, knives and glue sticks, I work in traditional collage. I further reveal surrealist stories with Augmented Reality elements. Using the (free) Artivive App, you can experience these works interactively using a mobile phone.

erinmcgean.com IG: @LifeWithArt 22 photo ED


To view as animated works: 1. Download the Artivive app. (Using this QR code) 2. Point the in-app camera at the images on these pages.

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JENNIFER LONG MENDED LEAVES Toronto, ON

Through a feminist lens, Jennifer Long works with constructed narratives inspired by the quiet moments in women’s lives where seemingly nothing (and everything) occurs. In Mended Leaves, she considers what it means to give care and how this exchange affects both the caregiver and the person being cared for. 24 photo ED


Jennifer says, “This work was initiated during my experience, and subsequent reflections on, being a primary caregiver during the pandemic. Using on-hand art supplies, I began exploring ways to transform found foliage, repairing tears, matching and re-imagining colours, and doing other tactile experiments. Instinctual and meditative explorations gave me time to reflect on the experience of mothering during a period filled with unease, when time bent, stood still, and stretched in unfamiliar ways. This has led me to consider how the balance of self-care and giving of oneself is fundamentally tied to communication.”

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JOE ATIKIAN Winter Blooms Toronto, ON

Re-imagined dormant winter trees, blooming with layered artist’s colours. Leafless skeletons that give trees their shape which are often overlooked are now brought to life. Original paintings lend a new palette, making the photographs as fantastical as they are real.

joeatikian.com

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Patrons and subscribers received a Ryan Van Der Hout limited edition print “Vanitas with Tulips, Pear and Skull” thanks to...

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“Vanitas with Tulips, Pear and Skull,” 2021

EKPHRASIS

a conversation between Kerry Manders + brandy ryan on RYAN VAN DER HOUT’S COLLECTING DUST Kerry Manders: “Vanitas with Tulips, Pear and Skull,” is one of my favourite images from the Collecting Dust series. It’s a still life with an abiding sense of movement in it. Look at the way the flowers are bending towards the skull. They might be covered in dust and ash, but they aren’t wilting or shrivelled up. They seem bloomy, fleshy, robust. Still, life.

really dramatic effect. Ryan addresses this direction in a project statement: he drew inspiration from the ruin follies of eighteenthcentury Europe — buildings that were made to look as if they’re the architectural remains of buildings … that never actually existed. What do we do with this allusion to past artifice?

brandy ryan: Even the verb tense of the series title — that present participle of collecting — suggests activity rather than stillness. There’s a tension and a mystery we are being invited to explore: what — or who — is collecting dust? For sure, the obvious answer is the objects that are covered in it. But it’s the photographer, Ryan, not time, doing the collecting, the covering.

br: “Ruin follies” is such a great term. And the “as if” is doing a lot of work there. The creation of seeming remains is necessarily so pristine, so precise. Ryan’s work has this quality, too. His tablescapes and object sculptures are meticulous. He puts himself in conversation and collusion with older forms. There’s an intensely citational aspect to his work. He conjures the past, going so far as to suggest that structures accrue value over time.

KM: In recreating the old Dutch masters, in sculpturally and photographically replicating Baroque vanitas paintings, Ryan creates anew an artificial sense of antiquity. Of time passing and objects past with his studio dust and ash. These images have a

KM: Yes! He navigates the present, the “collecting,” and the past, the callback to ruin follies, the dust, and in so doing also conjures the future. It’s a kind of photographic ekphrasis that renders time elastic, fluid, unstable. There’s a futuristic, sci-fi,

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post-apocalyptic feeling to the images. Dream-like or surreal, maybe? Although Ryan isn’t physically in these photographs, his presence is profound. In documentary work, we might forget about the photographer; we’re often encouraged not to think about subjectivity behind the camera, controlling the frame. That’s impossible in this conceptual series. A phrase just popped into my head: the afterlife of still life. br: In this context, the “after” is complicated. Ryan made this work during a global pandemic. When we saw Collecting Dust in person at United Contemporary, it was the first exhibition we’d attended in person since the onset of the pandemic. And you could feel it: the darkness of the images, the sense of isolation the series elicits, how they spoke to, echoed, what we’d just been through. But there was also an eerie — and joyful, if trepidatious — sense of aftermath. Our lives had quite literally been stilled by a global pandemic. KM: I think that’s part of the trepidation: is it even safe out here in the afterlife?! We’d only been viewing art online, so there was something magical about seeing it live and in person again. It makes me think of the spots of light in Ryan’s extremely dark images. I think the technical term I want here is “tenebrism” — the way in which the spots of light really pop against and in contrast to a predominance of darkness. br: Wearing masks, it was hard to recognize anyone. So, this series also felt like a representation of the dust we’d been collecting. It’s funny: there are so many things that are evoked when we think of flowers. Growth, bloom, death. But dust — we rarely see flowers covered in dust. It’s almost like they are never set out and then left alone long enough to accumulate it. That neglect or isolation feels absolutely evocative of the lockdowns we were just emerging from. I felt like I had been covered in dust, too — like I had to shake off pandemic isolation. KM: I really wanted to get up close to this work. Usually, I’m content to keep an “appropriate” — loaded as that term is — physical distance in galleries. Here, I caught sight of my own breath on one of Ryan’s frames. That felt like an admonishment to move back! But I had to get in there to discern the details, the textures. Flowers are inherently like that: evocative, inviting. It’s hard to truly appreciate them from afar. We want to gain proximity, be close enough to take them in fully. br: Initially, I thought “Compote” had one butterfly in it. The others are so much harder to see, camouflaged in that floral arrangement. I think Ryan foregrounds the process of both his making and of our seeing in his work. You and I were immediately curious about how he made the work. Process isn’t typically our first question. We’re both strongly impelled toward the interpretative. KM: I think here the process is the point — part of it, anyway. And “Compote” is a deliciously rich title in this regard. “Compote” can mean the preserved or cooked fruit, but it “Extinguished”, 2021 photo ED 31


Because I am taken instead by the strangeness of flowers, a strangeness familiar and unfamiliar. Flowers could be called queer, their style, their manner of swaying in the half-light, dressing and undressing, spread-eagle, leaning against each other, exhaling, falling apart, coming back together, dying then living. – Bahar Orang, Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty

“Compote”, 2021

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can also refer to the stemmed dish that holds it. The dish or the dessert. The contents or the container. It is an Old French word meaning mixture. Ryan asks us to consider form and content, process and product. br: That title, like others in the series, is a good example of the lightness — of the humour and fun to be had here — that Ryan is having. It’s not all doom and gloom, despite the real gravitas of the funereal flowers and skulls and extinguished candles. There’s hope in the dark — hat tip to Rebecca Solnit. There’s wordplay and visual puns and so many signs of life among the symbols of impeding death and decay. KM: Unsurprisingly, given my work with and about grief and mourning, I want to talk a little more about death. You know that I love memento mori art (which literally translated means “remember that you will die”). Ryan created this series at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, when the spectre of our own mortality loomed large. Fatality rates skyrocketed, and no one remained untouched in some way by the virus. Private grief and public mourning ensued, the likes of which we’ve never seen in our lifetime. Ryan evokes that here. The sheer scale of it all was — is — mindboggling. The effects of the pandemic are not only deeply felt in the present, but also thrown forward into a future that is still, in many ways, unknown. br: I think you’ve touched on something that speaks to the effectiveness of Ryan’s modern take on older forms — the memento mori picture and the very-closely-related vanitas still life, both popular in the seventeenth century. If memento mori reminds us of death, vanitas reminds us of the vanity — in the sense of worthlessness — of worldly pleasures, objects, material possessions. The idea behind those paintings was that our earthly life was mere preparation for the afterlife. I’m thinking of the “afterlife” of this pandemic, the ways in which we have felt cut off, out of context, strange. Pandemic life really and truly messed with our felt sense of time. It makes me think about what flowers feel, if they are sentient, about what we do to them: cut them, stick them in a glass with water, watch them die. KM: There’s something tender, fragile in this. And humbling! We can merely and fleetingly touch (on) the aporias that are death and beauty — and let them touch us. Flowers are a potent example of the delicacy of beauty and its inevitable demise, which is maybe why we’re so drawn to them. I’m looking again at “Vanitas with Tulips, Pear and Skull” and the way those flowers are impelled towards that skull — touching it, even. Not to beat a dead hors — er, “flower” — but they have everything to do with one another. br: This makes me think of Bahar Orang’s Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty. If Ryan meditates on death in Collecting Dust, I believe he also and equally meditates on beauty. Throughout her book, Orang uses flowers as a touchstone for contemplating beauty. She looks to flowers in her attempt to understand and articulate it. She writes that she “can no longer grab beauty by her wrists and demand articulation or meaning. I can only take

account of where things touch.” I love that idea of locating beauty in the “between” of things — in their connection but necessary separation. In their mystery. I love the idea that while artists obsessively write and paint and photograph about death and beauty, death and beauty remain ineffable. We can only hope to touch on their meanings. Like Orang’s flowers, we know them well and not at all. It’s an abiding paradox. KM: This conversation is making me think about an uncharacteristically short and sentimental essay by Freud, published in 1915, called “On Transience.” There, he remembers a walk he took with the poet Rilke in 1913, where the young poet lamented that beauty would fade, that all is ephemeral and mortal. Transience diminished Rilke’s pleasure in present beauty. Freud, on the other hand, argued that it’s the very quality of, say, a flower’s transience that adds to rather than undermines both our enjoyment of it and its value. For Freud, Rilke’s attitude is a protest again mourning. Freud himself, forever confronted and confounded by mourning in his own practice, embraced the experience of it. br: Oh, the melancholy poet! I think that Ryan’s work is, and you and I are, on Freud’s side of their argument. I’m struck that both Ryan’s work and Freud’s essay were crafted in the intensity of mourning time — the current pandemic and World War I, respectively. Both historical contexts meant travel restrictions, separation from loved ones, untold death, mass mourning. Both events robbed people of so many things we love. KM: Perhaps that is another idea Ryan invites us to sit with, however uncomfortably. We think we know what death is, what loss means — and we don’t have the slightest clue, not really. Not to evoke an existential crisis, but there’s something about the darkness and dust that also shrouds what we think we know, what we think we can see and fathom. Mom died during the pandemic — not of COVID — but it occurs to me that we’re having this conversation at my desk, where a small container of Mom’s ashes sits… br: … collecting dust. KM: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” I’m not a biblical sort of person, but I’ve always been touched by this graveside committal. I like the notion that our bodies are composed of natural elements and will be returned to nature in the end. There’s a grand — and comforting — sense of the connectedness of it all, of us all. br: Connection and mystery. When Orang calls flowers “queer,” I think she’s gesturing towards the uncanny, the unknowability of them, that “strangeness familiar and unfamiliar.” Ryan’s flowers are queer, too. They invite us to sit in alluring darkness, with our unknowingness, perhaps even collecting dust. Ryan Van Der Hout is an experimental photographer and sculptor based in Toronto. His work is proudly represented by United Contemporary Gallery. unitedcontemporary.com

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T.M. GLASS Camelias in a Silver Punch Bowl & Tulips and Bleeding Hearts in a Japanese Vessel Toronto, ON

All of my pictures are created in my studio with a computer and input from a large format, high-resolution camera and a digital painting tablet. Several kinds of digital technologies allow the creation of the imagery and export of large high-resolution prints.

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I fully embrace technology and use these tools that allow me greater complexity and far more options and creative opportunities than traditional paint. I began my work with cut flowers from my own garden in vases from my home collection. When I ran out of interesting vases I began to work with museum curators who allowed me to photograph vessels from museum collections. I was not allowed to touch the vessels or put flowers in them. These results come from multiple photographs, one at the museum and others from my garden.

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WALTER RAEMISCH Digital Grass London, ON

A covid world of boundaries forced a look into our garden as an escape from the reality.

www.everydayrae.art

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JEROME CLARK Toronto, ON

Redefining how we see flowers beyond their prime.

jeromeclark.com

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ORYSA STEIN Floral Portraits Winnipeg, MB

This image is from an ongoing series focused on floral details that many may miss. From veins in petals to pollen dust, I am constantly inspired by the unique qualities of flowers.

IG: @orysasteinphotography

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ASHLEY SENJA Growing Pains Toronto, ON

This piece is a visual depiction of struggle in tandem with the beauty that is growth. My work is self-portrait based, and choosing to put it out in the world is important for not only my own growth, but to contribute to diversification of bodies we see in photography. ashleysenja.com photo ED 39


JULYA HAJNOCZKY WET PLATES Calgary, AB

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I create my pieces using a camera-less process. Tintypes and ambrotypes are made by pouring an emulsion onto aluminium or glass plates, and then dipping them in a silver bath to make them light sensitive. In the darkroom, I place a plant in the enlarger, where a negative would normally go, and project that onto the wet plate. The plate is developed, and once dry, it is varnished. Plates in this collection are 3.5" × 4.5" or 8" × 10".

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SALLY AYRE Natural Patterns, Woven Series Toronto, ON

Changes in our lives and environments construct layers of meaning that weave together.This image is part of an ongoing project about plant specimens and their seeds, which scatter to germinate new life cycles. Using seeds from the end of a plant’s life cycle references a broader idea about our own aging processes. Plants and their seeds are a metaphor for experiences and knowledge acquired as we grow older and pass on our knowledge to others.

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ANNA CHURCH Supernatural Toronto, ON

Art for me has always been a way to further a conversation. As I continue to explore the relationship between 3D sculpture and 2D photography, my “sculptography” aims to present introspective artworks that can expand ideas about the natural world.

annachurchart.com

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CHERRY ARCHER “Trifolium 107” from the Botanical Ice Tile series Vancouver, BC

On a macro scale, the Botanical Ice Tile series is an analogy for global warming. On a micro scale, the work explores tensions between randomness and control, transience and preservation, and reality and abstraction by using the process of incrementally freezing plants in water.

cherryarcher.com

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AKEMI MATSUBUCHI Hidden World of Infrared Edmonton, AB

Infrared photography reveals a different wavelength of light in the spectrum. The technique is unpredictable as the intensity of the infrared glow varies greatly depending on the scene. This alternate reality conveys a surreal and ethereal tone. The variation of how plants react in a scene is always a surprise to me and one I will never tire of seeking.

matsubuchi.ca

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DEEDEE MORRIS Shifting Polarities: Portraits of Renewable Abundance Three Fathom Harbour, NS

This project explores fluid spaces within the intersections of gender and our connection with the non-human world (both organic and synthetic) from a masculine-identifying perspective.

deedeemorris.com

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ALEX NEUMANN I See Stars Toronto, ON

The idea I’m working with is the propensity of humans to create symbols and attach meaning and affiliation to them. My photographs are manipulated by software that mirrors portions of the image into 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 sections, each containing a star. Star-like patterns represent a number of spiritual faiths and cultures.

alexneumann.art

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SOLAR-POWERED:

THE DAZZLING ALCHEMY OF LUMENS BY PHYLLIS SCHWARTZ BY PEPPA MARTIN

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In 1834, William Henry Fox Talbot set a pressed leaf on a piece of sensitized paper, covered it with a sheet of glass, and set it in the sun. Wherever the light struck, the paper darkened; but wherever the plant blocked the light, the paper remained white. The scientist called his new discovery “the art of photogenic drawing.”*

Phyllis Schwartz, a long-time devotee and master of lumen printing, describes her artistic process as a “response to the primal elements of nature.” Sensitive to the rugged environment neighbouring her Vancouver Island home, Phyllis respects her chosen materials with the mantra “Do Not Disturb Nature.” This forces her to scavenge for botanicals

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that are harvested strictly from the grooming or pruning of bushes, trees, and flowers. At a time when digital photography affords artists absolute control over their output, Phyllis conversely “loves the unpredictability” of creating lumen prints, choosing to bypass all but the slightest measure of intellectual intervention over

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her assemblages. Even a minor change in weather, humidity, and temperature yields surprising results — a scenario she discovered during a snap Saskatchewan spring blizzard. Phyllis composes her pieces with a degree of intention that is “partly random and partly formalist arrangement.” She deliberately strives for texture, tone, and balance, and will


move things around to purposely disturb rules of composition. Invariably, she ends up with a beguiling melange of shape, colour, and line that skews a viewer’s familiar references.

fixed, rendering a fugitive print, or as Fox Talbot referred to them, “fairy pictures, creations of a moment, and destined as rapidly to fade away.”*

Each piece is a unique contact print, a limited edition of one. The silver gelatin photo paper used in making lumen prints will fade and darken in very little time, unless chemically

Fixed prints can then be scanned or photographed to preserve the transient moment of completion and further manipulated in post-production to evolve into a more conceptualized

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artwork. Editions can be struck from this one “plate,” for exhibition or sale. As with traditional lens-based photography, lumen prints capture stories of place and time, of memory and emotion. I asked Phyllis how if feels to create lumen prints, and she said, “I think we don’t realize how forceful nature is. I think

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most people walking around on sidewalks, driving cars, and shopping in grocery stores just living their lives don’t realize how much we are at the whim of Mother Nature. Lumens are a dance with the life that comes from the earth.” Phyllis Schwartz is a multidisciplinary artist and curator who works in photography, ceramics, and publishing. Born


in Brooklyn, raised in Texas, and educated in the mid-west, Phyllis migrated to Western Canada during the 1970s, where she put down roots and grew her artist practice. She is an Emily Carr University of Art + Design graduate with a concentration in photography and the recipient of the Canon Photography Award. Her photography has been installed, exhibited, and published locally, across Canada, and internationally. Her works

are in corporate, public, and private collections. Most recently, Phyllis and her partner Edward Peck were artists in residence at the Wallace Stegner House in Eastend, Saskatchewan. IG: @queenofmidnight sassamatt.com

(* From Malcolm Daniel, “William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877) and the Invention of Photography.”)

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THE GALLERY SUBMISSIONS BY OUR READERS

1.

2.

1. KATHERINE CHENG Aurora, ON [Dis/Re]Connected: Through the 5 Senses

2. DAVID GRAY Vancouver, BC Life on the Pond IG: @dbgrayphoto

3.

3. ANASTASIA SPIVAK Toronto, ON A poppy for Ukraine IG: @theanastasiaspivak

IG: @katherinekycheng

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THE GALLERY SUBMISSIONS BY OUR READERS

1.

2.

3.

4.

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BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE Check out the WINTER 2023 DIGITAL EXTRA ISSUE to see more beautiful botanical images

FEATURING:

5.

6.

7.

1. DALE M REID

4. RODERICK CHEN

Toronto, ON Diversity

Montreal, QC Impermanence

dalemreidphotography.com

IG: @chenfoto

IG: @KareneIsabelle

2. KRIS MOORE

5. STEPHEN BRULE

USA Beach Trash with Floral

Toronto, ON Botanical Ambrotype

7. EMMA JULIETTE SHERLAND

krishodsonmoore.com

www.stephenbrule.com IG: @stephen_brule

3. LINDA BRISKIN Toronto, ON Botanicals: Invented by our gaze lindabriskinphotography.com

6. KARENE-ISABELLE JEAN-BAPTISTE Montreal, QC

AL SZAJMAN AMANDA DEVISON ANGELINA BARRUCCO APRIL HICKOX BOHDAN HRYNYSHYN BRENDA LAKEMAN BRIANNA NYKILCHYK CARL RITTENHOUSE CAROL HOW CHARLOTTE BABAD CHLOE LUKAS CLARE ROSS COREY ISENOR DIANNE BOS ELA KUROWSKA HEDY BACH JEANNE GERMANI JUDY H. MCPHEE KARENE-ISABELLE JEAN-BAPTISTE KATHERINE CHILDS KATHRYN REILLY KATRINE CLAASSENS LAURA JANE PETELKO LAURA KAY KEELING LAURIE MINOR LINDA BRISKIN LISA ELIN/PHOTOGRAFFISTA MARIE-LOUISE MOUTAFCHIEVA OSHEEN HARRUTHOONYAN SHAELYNN TREDENICK SHELLEY WILDEMAN STEVE KEAN SUE NURMI THEODORA MITRAKOS TOMMY FEILER TRACY METZ YASMEEN STRANG

+MORE!

Toronto, ON https://linktr.ee/juliettetheartist.

Check it out online JANUARY 1, 2023 at

photoed.ca/ digital-issue


THE GALLERY SUBMISSIONS BY OUR READERS

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1.

2.

3.

4.


1. BRIAN LAVERY Port Alberni, BC Above Below brianlavery.ca

2. HUAIJUN WEN Toronto, ON Plantillusion huaijunwen.com

3. SONIA LÉTOURNEAU Montreal, QC The thread IG: @ sonia.sonia1410

4. RICHELLE FORSEY Toronto, ON Content Aware Gardens IG:@Richelle4C

5. JASON NIELSEN Vancouver, BC The Spirit of Eden IG: @/jnielsen_photo

5.

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Canary Wharf Bikes by Jonathan Pearce

The fastest, smoothest, most precise photo editor for macOS, Windows and iPad Affinity Photo redefines the boundaries for professional photo editing software. With a meticulous focus on workflow it offers sophisticated tools for enhancing, editing and retouching your images in an incredibly intuitive interface with all the power and performance you need. Available for macOS, Windows and iPad – subscription-free at: affinity.serif.com/photo