Gan photo exhibit pushes the limits

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Three acclaimed art photographers from the region are featured in a new exhibition at Ganaoque’s O’Connor Gallery.


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Aptly named eScape, the exhibition opened last week and is showcasing the works ofBrockville art  photographers, Charles Low and  Bill Milward, as well as Arnprior photographer Ginny Fobert – three very different styles, three very powerful artists together under one roof.

This is the gallery’s third photography exhibition in two years.

“This is a show of contemporary photography that pushes the limits, because technology allows them to do so,” said Dennis O’Connor, owner of O’Connor Gallery.

And technology is the tool; it’s the paintbrush in the hands of these art photographers, although there’s more to it than that.

“Light is under-recognized by amateur and beginner photographers, because people tend to focus on composition,” said Charles Low, “and I’ve done that too, but thinking about light and how to use it is the real skill, not that I’ve mastered it – it’s a lifelong pursuit.”

Each of these photographers has his or her own unique approach to lighting, composition and expression.

Low’s work could be described as traditional, except that he manages to capture silence, and crescendoes in striking images through an exquisite understanding of lighting, enhanced colour and powerful composition.

Milward is both photographer and painter and his female nudes are meticulously painted to create undulating landscapes that are multi-dimensional and mesmerizing.  Fobert pushes the boundaries of the process of photography.  Using photographic techniques, she creates unique ethereal landscapes by layering and stacking images and then subtracting colours and playing with highlights and shadows as she finishes each piece.


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“This series uses double exposure in the camera, with the camera turned upside down and moved around for the second exposure. When I download the photo to my computer it’s dark and messy, so I lighten it up, and remove colour and elements and highlight others.  I’m not adding anything – I’m taking away,” said Fobert.

While Milward starts out with nude female bodies, they are just a canvas for his own expression.

“I don’t see them as naked bodies, I see three-dimensional colours and shape; it’s much more fun than working on a flat canvas,” said Milward.

That all three photographers are exhibiting together is thanks to Low. When he reached out to O’Connor Gallery, Dennis suggested that it was time for him to exhibit his work, and it was Low who suggested a group exhibit.

The exhibition opened on Sept 10 with a socially distanced vernissage that was live streamed.

“Life in this COVID world is going to be very different and we have to adapt, and so live streaming we can reach a lot more people,” said O’Connor.

All three artists have exhibited at other galleries in the area, in Kingston, Brockville and Ottawa. Low will be exhibiting again at the AOG Gallery in Frankville, during Brockville’s extended Culture Days starting in late September this year.

“Some of the lighting in Charles’ photos really appeals to me and often it’s more spectacular than if you see the scene with your naked eye,” said Bill Gibbons, owner of AOG Gallery.

A private gallery, the AOG gallery exhibits Gibbons’ private collection of contemporary art, including sculptures, paintings and art photography. Not always open to the public, the gallery does welcome visitors during Culture Days and by appointment.

The exhibition at the O’Connor Gallery on King Street, Gananoque will run until Oct. 17.

Gananoque Reporter is part of the Local Journalism Initiative and reporters are funded by the Government of Canada to produce civic journalism for underserved communities. Learn more about the initiative

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