Last Resort utilizes stillness and beauty in uncertain places
Beautiful and stimulating imagery can be found in the most unlikely of places. Alberta is known for a vast topographical landscape, which incorporates all manner of scenery. When it comes to the large scale it is not hard to find beauty in this province, yet the small scale requires a certain lens to look through.
Leanne Olson has spent the last three years of her life travelling the province to portray beauty in something no one would think twice to look into–water.
Olson has a vast history of working in photography, print and film and has utilized her experiences to display a love letter to settings that people would normally drive by in her exhibit Last Resort.
“I’m drawn to these places because they’re adapting to impact and surviving, with that I get to see the scale of change,” Olson says.
Olson has been carefully and tactfully taking photographs of the development of the miniature biospheres in lakes, rivers and other bodies of water in where nature and human impact intertwine. The result is a large collection of images shot through the water to portray images that encourage personal interpretation of what is being seen. Olson is aware that what is being shown in the photograph is not the most conventional of subjects as things like algae and other particles in the water add to the image.
“The water is still adapting to change it endures, some of the images can border on generating discomfort as well as being pleasing to the eye,” says Olson.
Aside from interpretation of the images on the viewer’s side, the photos also display an environmental message as Olson wanted to show how childhood lakes she grew up around have been changing due to human impact. This contrast was seen first hand as Olson accumulated photographs over years of wading in the water in rubber boots with her camera.
“Instead of being uncomfortable around places a person avoids you can find comfort in them,” says Olson.
The photographs will be in a minimalist display to encourage focus on the image itself and not the presentation. Time plays a heavy factor in Olson’s work as the images change with location and the degree of impact that they have endured.
“There is this illusion of lasting security and that nothing is going to change,” says Olson.
With this in mind each image will maintain its own identity and will give a sensation of both stillness and life. Olson hopes that audiences will dedicate time just as she did to look past the surface of the image and see what their minds conjure in reaction.
“I think when people see them they’ll see what they want to see,” she explains.
Fri., Aug. 11 – Sat., Sept. 9