ISLAMABAD, Feb 11 Beautiful images took gallery visitors on a journey through the vastness of Canada in this international exhibition that opened at the National Art Gallery Thursday evening.

'Available LIGHT' does not just showcase the beautiful stretches of land, its streets and maps but acquaints art buffs with some of the biggest names in the field of photography.

Available light photography means the photographer uses neither flash nor studio lights. The exposure wanted is one determined by whatever ambient light is available. The photographer looks through camera's lens to frame the scene in the light of one moment, one place. The photographer's eye does the rest.

The works are mostly by migrants, now renowned Canadian photographers, curator of the exhibition Tanya Suhail said.

“In these works artists tell the truth,” Tanya said who is curator of Lahore Arts Council.

Cecile Boucher, who donated all 14 works worth $90,000 to Lahore Arts Council, asks persistent and troubling questions of location and time. Her art is a rebellion, a defence against further dislocations. Her works, the 'Unique' series, show backs of people's heads staring at maps, streets as well as nature as if hinting on displacement.

Sandra Hawkings, who also donated 10 of her digital prints to the Lahore Arts Council, presents a haunting and unresolved scenario. The light is that of twilight. The sun has not been seen all month. It is the darkest time of the year. She empathises with Inuit, the oldest people of Canadian north. Her works were part of the Arctic Crisis Project.

A day without art is a day without oxygen for Sylvia Klein. “Art is worth your attention,” she said in her statement. Two of the 10 are small scenes from Rembrandt's home in Amsterdam, one photograph was made at Versailles, another at Louvre, five more were photographed inside the Musee Picasso in Paris, and the tenth is simply a doorway on a street in Ottawa, Canada, where Sylvia Klein lives.

By combining the traditional shape of the kimono with contemporary imagery and painting techniques, Norman Takeuchi's photographs reflect his identity as a member of two cultures - Japanese and Canadian - from a sansei's understanding. “The artist's role in society is two-fold. Artists challenge conventional thinking as well as bring beauty into our lives. I try to fulfill both my responsibilities,” he said in his statement.

Each stitch that Lucy Arai sew is her practice to cultivate seeds of compassion within her. Lucy Arai is not a photographer. Nor does she use photography in her art. Her art is derived from a Japanese Buddhist practice of meditation - a means of seeing, breathing and understanding. She has learnt to see, to really see, in whatever light is available - here and now. The artist practices Sashiko.

Hans Joerg Mettler loves the culture of sky train and photographs them because sky train passengers, he observes are unlike people traveling on the ground.



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