National Gallery exhibition showcases a new generation of photographers

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A new exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada gives six young Canadian photographers the opportunity to show what they have in mind, thanks to the Scotiabank New Generation Photography Award.

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Because the pandemic shattered plans for last year’s show, the new exhibit is larger than usual, showcasing the three 2020 winners alongside the three 2021 winners. All 34 works are on view until December 5.

Curated by the gallery’s Andrea Kunard, the photos range from Chris Donovan’s grainy black and white images of the impact of industrialization to the large, vibrant, color-saturated still life compositions that Dainesha Nugent-Palache created from the tropical plants and trinkets. – things that adorn the house of her mother born in Jamaica.

“I realize that a lot of my practice is like a love letter to my mom,” said Nugent-Palache, a 2021 winner who returned to her parents in Brampton during the pandemic.

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Donovan’s photo series, titled Cloud Factory, originated while working in a newspaper office across the street from a polluted oil refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick. The 2021 laureate, 26, is a photojournalist by training.

“Basically, a lot of the project deals with how industrialization affects people and is intrinsically linked to poverty and population retention,” Donovan said.

The work of the third 2021 winner, Dustin Brons of Vancouver, 30, finds beauty in the ordinary, with striking images of everyday things including a pot of soup, a paper bag and a penny pot, shot in the different apartments he rented. years.

“I have lived in a bunch of sublet situations and was interested in portraying a place by taking photos,” he said. “The challenge now is that I’ve been living in the same place for a year, and I still need to find those new moments. “

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Meanwhile, last year’s winner Curtiss Randolph is building an elaborate story with his photographs. The main character, GG Jangles, is based on the photographer’s father’s experience in showbiz as a dance performer who became the owner of a historic church turned into a theater in downtown Toronto.

“This character tells about events that took place in my father’s life,” Randolph said. “Essentially, the series is about the difficulty of asking for help to see great ideas come to fruition.”

In one dramatic image, GG is captured in mid-air leaping from the balcony of the theater, umbrella in hand. Rest assured that Randolph, who is 27, had some help with this one – the former stuntman (now a rope access technician) made the jump himself with the help of a coordinator of waterfalls and a pile of protective mats.

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For the 2020 winner Katherine Takpennie, whose images testify to her connection to the landscape, the prize has already been a game-changer. The Ottawa Inuit photographer now works with a shopping gallery in Toronto and recently had the chance to reconnect with her grandmother in Iqaluit, where they went berry picking and char fishing.

“I am very grateful for all the opportunities that have presented themselves to me as a result of this award,” she said. “It’s very surreal. I’m still in a little bit of disbelief. It almost sounds like a fairy tale.

The third winner of 2020 is Noah Friebel from Vancouver; his photos have a modernist sensibility of architectural inspiration.

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