Local photographer and Arts Council stalwart Joan Cole at the opening of 'Shadow and Light' at the Art House March 22. The show continues into April.

“Shadow and Light” Opens at Art House

“Shadow and Light” Opens at Art House in Hagensborg

Travel has always been a big part of Joan Cole’s life, and her urge to “make” photographs (not “take” them) has always been a companion on her journeys far afield.

Her show of more than 60 images in both colour and black-and-white which opened at the Art House in Hagensborg March 22 spans the globe – from Bella Coola to Taiwan, from Iceland to Argentina, from Antarctica to Canada’s High Arctic. A gravestone in Paris, a musk ox skull on Devon Island, the surf in Bali, a rose in Tasmania, a black-and-white sewing machine in the High Arctic – these are only a few of the vast variety of subjects that have passed through the lens of Joan’s camera as she has pursued a passion that began when she was given a Brownie camera as a child.

Travel and photography were both part of her upbringing (her father took slides on their many family trips), and Joan found that photography provided “different ways to view things”. She learned to distinguish between “taking” pictures (for example, snapshots of people) and “making” photographs – that is “composing” an image from the visual material presented through the eye of her camera. She says her work is inspired by the beauty of nature – its colours and forms (where she tends to present the image in colour) – and also by the shapes of architecture – where she often resorts to black-and-white.

Since that childhood Brownie, Joan has graduated through many levels of photographic technology, with the biggest one being the shift from film to digital – a change that she resisted for several years until her Nikon gave up on her and she had to take the digital plunge. She still hasn’t figured out all the possibilities of digital photography, but when it became obvious that film was on its way out, she consulted Bella Coola Valley photographer Michael Wigle who helped her through the transition. She appreciates the digital ability to alter the contrast, intensity, and brightness of an image, and the ease of transforming a photograph from colour to black-and-white or vice versa. Often she finds “colour can detract” from an image – particularly if the subject is architectural in nature.

However, because of the importance Joan attaches to the actuality of the real image, she doesn’t alter the photograph by “photoshopping” to remove or replace details. Her primary use of the digital capability is for cropping the photograph in order to enhance the composition inherent in the image and which she has in mind when she opens the shutter. Her computer is a tool for fine-tuning the image.

Joan is pleased that “Shadow and Light” will grace the Art House walls for an extended period and that the Arts Council is dedicated to revitalizing the venue. “It’s the only venue of its type in the Valley,” she says, “a great asset in a great location” with its outdoor awning-covered deck, lawn, and trees – the perfect place for an “English Tea Party” that Joan recalls – complete with fancy hats and silver service.

Joan has been involved with the Council since the 1970’s and has seen its fortunes decline with changes in the Valley economy. Nevertheless, the Art House has “character”, she says, and monthly events that increase its use as well as a more business-like approach will make the venue more viable.

Just Posted

BC Ferries confirms Northern Sea Wolf ready for summer season

The plan is to have the Northern Sea Wolf assume the mid-coast service as of May 18

Historic building in Alexis Creek destroyed by fire overnight

“If it hadn’t been a heavy rain last night we could have lost many houses in the area”

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

OP-ED: Striking a balance with the oil tanker moratorium

Dennis Patterson, Senator for Nunavut, on protecting Canada’s environment and economy with Bill C-48

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

Fire forces 36 people at Vanderhoof care home to evacuate

No one was hurt after the fire at Stuart Nechako Manor

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

B.C. Interior yoga studio raises $2,500 for woman leaving abusive relationship

The 100 Mile House studio held a fundraiser yoga class and accepted donations from members to help the woman

Ex-mayor of northern village claims its drivers are overpaying ICBC $1,800 a year

Darcy Repen says data shows Telkwa households are being ripped off for car insurance

Deadly synthetic drug found in Kamloops that puts users in ‘zombielike’ state

Interior Health warning says substance causes ‘speedy, trippy-like symptoms’ and hallucinations

Trudeau to be portrayed on ‘Simpsons’ episode

Toronto journalist who’s posted videos of himself doing impressions of the PM voiced him for the show

Elizabeth May’s wedding dress a ‘walk through a garden’ on Earth Day

Green Party leader set to get married in Victoria

Bodies of 3 mountain climbers recovered after last week’s Banff avalanche

The men disappeared while attempting to climb the east face of Howse Peak in the Icefields Parkway

Most Read