Small World Large: Intimate Explorations of Nature

June 27 – July 29, 2013

Lisa S. Price, Photographer

To see the world in a grain of sand
And heaven in a wildflower
To hold the universe in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour.
William Blake

This exhibition looks at life at the macro level. It brings to the fore colours and shapes found in the world of small things and intimates how they are reiterated in the large. Thus, the curve of driftwood calls to mind a sandy river delta. Other times, close up images seem alien, other worldly, as is the case of an unfolding fern frond that on first glance appears to be a creature from outer space. Macro photography also gives a sense of texture: the ridges of an tree stump, the smoothness of an arbutus trunk. In short, the exhibition explores the beauty to be found when we lower our gaze to the world at our feet.

The collection interrogates how we as humans “read” nature, including what we habitually overlook. It raises, but does not answer, the question of the extent to which our ability to see is bounded by our social and cultural locations.

For me these images are a source of wonder and appreciation. They evoke a sense of intimacy between the the realm of nature and myself as a seer. Implicitly, they encourage me to see not just with my eyes but also with my heart. In exhibiting them I hope to share with viewers the awe I feel when I immerse myself in what grows close to the earth.

Image Production: I use an old (mid 1970s) fully manual Minolta 35 millimetre film camera. For close ups I use tubes (also called bellows) of fixed focal length which are placed between the lens and the body of the camera. This arrangement not only enables me to get very close to my subjects, it allows me to create images of either crisp or softened focus.

I am deeply grateful to Martha Royea and Angela Royea for the roles they played as midwives of this project. Though the conception was mine, the fulfillment of the project relied on their critical eyes and experienced hands. Thanks, too, to GPAG workers Pat Drope and Manon Staiger who have done so much to smooth the way for me.

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