Light and shadow through the lens of 10 Chilliwack artists

The artists' reception for Light & Shadow is April 11, 1 to 3 p.m. in the art gallery in the Cultural Centre

Photographers Michael Hamilton-Clark (left) and Fred Gornall put the finishing touches on Light and Shadow

Light and shadow are elements that most photographers pay close attention to in their work.

It’s in that delicate interplay of light and dark where one often finds the very best and most intriguing compositions.

The new photographic exhibit, Light & Shadow, runs until May 9 at the Chilliwack Artists’ Gallery in the Cultural Centre.

The group show showcases 10 photographers:  Mary Askey, Linda Brown, Mary Chalmers Main, Zidonja Ganert, Delphine Gornall, Fred Gornall, Michael Hamilton-Clark, Jenna Hauck, Vickie Legere and Pat Tessier.

Each artist interpreted the theme of Light & Shadow in unique ways, as tools of expression and texture, to foster hope, whimsy, awe, compassion or even drama in the viewer’s mind, depending on the quality of the light.

The Progress took a few moments to speak to a couple of the show’s participants.

Vickie Legere is a local photographer with a “deep-rooted and spiritual passion for the environment that we live in,” according to her bio.

One of the photos has daylight streaming through the blinds at the bottom of some stairs, highlighting her “zebra” dog.

Another looks down into a rippled and shallow pool of water on a sunny day, illuminating its contents.

“I like to play with the shadows because sometimes they reveal more than they hide,” Legere writes.

The fun part, she says, is considering how good sunlight makes you feel.

“You want to take pictures and you want to be out there on a sunny day.”

Even though you’ve witnessed a beautiful sunset hundreds of times before, each moment is special and a challenge to capture with a camera.

“As a photographer, if I can save it, and share that moment of awe that I had with the viewer, I’ve done my job,” said Legere.

For Michael Hamilton-Clark the theme of the show was fitting as he mainly shoots his images in black and white.

“Rather than colour, I prefer black-and-white photography where it is the interaction between light and shadow along with tonal subtleties that gives the picture its interest and tend to encourage a sharper attention to the portrayed matter,” he wrote in his artist statement.

He also enjoys painting and woodturning, and his work is available in local shops.

“The theme of light and shadow for the show has worked out very well,” he said. “There’s a good variety of subject matter and sizes represented.”

He chose to share some of his globetrotting excursions with photographs of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, as well as Morocco and France, as well as some local images of Chilliwack.

One of his photos is of a “beautifully twisted” tree on Chilliwack River Road, which he describes as almost “agonized” leaning into the curve of the road, and standing out in sharp relief.

Visiting goats at the Agassiz cheese farm afforded him a moment, with a baby goat sticking its head over the gate with a perplexed look.

“We came around the corner and this little guy popped his head up and I just snapped the photo.”

All of Hamilton-Clark’s work was shot with a small digital camera, which allows him the chance to see the composition in its entirety as he can move back from the viewfinder.

More about Hamilton-Clark’s work is at www: alberystudiowoodturnings.com

and Legere’s site is www.v-art.ca

The artists’ reception for Light & Shadow is April 11, 1 to 3 p.m. in the art gallery in the cultural centre, and the show runs April 2 to May 9, 2015, Noon to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday

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