The Gladstone is thrilled to be a venue again for the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival. With two incredible shows coming up for May, we wanted to tell you a little about them and get you as excited as we are!
On the Fourth Floor, we’ll be introducing, ‘We with Images to Give,’ a show by photographer Mark Sommerfeld in collaboration with textile artist Heather English. The photographs document an eight-day camping trip through Northern Michigan the pair took that marked a transitional time in their relationship, which has now ended. Travelling with a loved one can bring out the best and worst in a relationship, and on this trip the partners ideas of representation and Sommerfeld’s desire to capture each moment led to conflict.
These specific photos were taken either just before, during or shortly after a moment of tension, giving the audience a different perspective of such beautiful shots. There is a vulnerability to them, showing such a universally understood and difficult time in a relationship. The show gives a unique window into a relationship at a pivotal moment, and to put a lens behind that and frame it is powerful. Mark reflected that the photos had been taken at the time as a form of escapism and well as adoration. The images are simultaneously loving and melancholic, showing a relationship in transition.
The Second and Third Floors will showcase ‘Muse,’ which features emerging storytellers with roots in photojournalism. ‘Muse’ explores female visual narratives from inspiration to dissemination. The artists behind it are Laurence Butet-Roch, Chloë Ellingson, Marta Iwanek, Anica James, Hannah Love Yoon, Galit Rodan, Annie Sakkab, Michelle Siu, all curated by Rachel Wine. They sought to bring attention to and change the way women are underrepresented in photojournalism.
‘Muse’ subverts the themes of voyeurism, subjectivity, femininity, and the often-unbalanced relationship between artist and subject to explore the role of women in visual journalism. The multiple mediums reflected throughout the work highlight the contribution of female photographic reportage to producing expanded, creative forms of documentary.
Gallery Hours: Open Daily from May 1–31
Opening Reception: May 11, 7pm–10pm
Featured Images: Marta Iwanek and Mark Sommerfeld