Toronto-Marks

2016

Stencil Light Paintings

 

This series is very closely related to Toronto-scapes, Among Shades of White and Multicoloured. It is about the absence of cultural diversity in Canadian art. In the photographs, I am a part of the landscape, yet cannot be seen. In my place, I leave light prints of henna designs. While I find henna to be a part of my personal narrative, it is incorporated universally as a symbol of festivity, celebration, femininity and craft. The images of the cityscape with the henna patterns reflect my desire to integrate the concepts of my place in both the city and in artistic expression of the city. Instead of painting Canadian wilderness, a subject that is often linked with Canadian art, I want to photograph, beautify and transform the landscape that I live in. I want to infuse Canadian identity, which is so related to the landscape, with patterns familiar to the many immigrants who make up Canada’s population and nationality. This series broadens the associations we make when thinking about ‘Canadian art’. You may read more about my inspirations here: Overcoming the Canadian Wilderness.

Stencil light painting is a technique that involves flashing light through a stencil while the camera takes a long exposure shot. So while my assistant controls the camera, I move around the location flashing light through stencils. Because of the shot’s length, the camera only captures the light and the images have a beautiful, luminescence effect resembling stained glass.

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