Photographers have become visual artists
produce prints that are rich in colour, detail, depth and emotion.
And through the process, these photographers have become visual artists; transforming disappointing photographs into beautiful works of art.
“When many images were taken photographically, I had a vision of what they might be some day. And even though I was disappointed with (some of them) I wanted a chance to make them beautiful. That’s why I’m calling it ‘A New Vision’,” says Barrett of the new print exhibition running July 8-31 at Ellen’s Creek Gallery, 525 North River Rd., Charlottetown.
Take “Bringing Home the Cows,” for example.
When Barrett took the initial photograph he wanted to capture the essence of the P.E.I. countryside – complete with farmers’ fields, tufts of grass sprouting up from the middle of the red dirt road and a young boy herding his slowmoving cattle home.
“But that photograph just didn’t have it. I wasn’t able to bring it up to a larger size because the quality was so poor.”
So the only thing he held onto was the feeling he wanted to create.
“Now taking that old photograph and turning it into something special, that’s where the new vision comes from.”
MacKay, who has always been drawn to the visual arts and has an eye for capturing and reproducing just the right quality of light, colour intensity and depth of shadow, agrees.
“The way we expressed ourselves creatively before was limited by the technology of the time. You’d be somewhere and you would have all your senses involved whereas a photograph is limited to the grain-structure, the length of the lens you’re using and the quality of the images. So, to go back and look at them again and say, ‘this could be new again’ is exciting,” she says.
“Bringing Home the Cows” is one of 25 prints in the exhibition. There are lupins growing wild along the ditches in “Pleasant Valley”, rushes of red in “Poppy Field, Flat, River” and seabirds frolicking in the early morning sunshine in “Willets in the Surf”, as well as seascapes and nautical themes including traditional wooden boats.
“We had fun creating them,” says MacKay.
“We’ve already had some positive responses.”