September 14-24, 2023

Transmutations of Light

Light exposes the truth and beauty of who we are and leaves an impression that lasts beyond the impermanence of our lives.

“Over a decade ago, I purchased a Ziploc bag of negatives at a garage sale in the Junction neighbourhood in Toronto. The seller told me he had salvaged them from a retired portrait photographer. The name of the photographer and the names of the people shown in the negatives are unknown. For these prints, I made high resolution scans to enlarge the negatives before converting them to positives required to print Anthotypes. The positives were printed on Pictorico transparency film. For the Anthotype emulsion, I collected wild red poppies from a spot near the CNE and made 72 coated sheets of Canson paper. Printing Anthotypes using sunlight can only be done effectively on bright sunny days and in good weather. The 72 prints were exposed in clip frames on top of a friends’ pergola in downtown Toronto over the course of 5 days in full sun during a heat wave in late August. The prints had to be installed and taken down three times due to the chance of rain. Working with these images, I began to imagine what these wonderful humans might be like as people, and what stories they might tell. The flower emulsion used to create these images will continue to expose in the natural light of the gallery, causing the images to disappear from the walls during the course of the show.”

Transmutations of Light Anthotype Prints8326 Martin Reis

Transmutations of Light – 72 Stories

7996 Mike likes the sound of an expensive car engine first thing in the morning. Sounds like victory.

7997 Her favourite cats are calicos. It is a hard choice but they are the most gentle at night. Calico cats help us sleep and relax, per chance to dream.

7998 There are rules in order. These are good things but so are football chats and pints with the mates.

7999 Nonna likes music and her favorite singer is Karen Carpenter.

8000 Dan likes money.

8001 Yogurt is not breakfast food. Herb is not even quite sure what yogurt is, but he still hates it.

8002 Anoush’s favourite ice cream flavour is rose petal.

8003 Giancarlo has a pet rabbit, but that's a secret.

8049 Maria struggles with being a widow. She wants to go home. No more snow. Basta!

8050 Bianca enjoys books about other worlds where the Earth is still a garden.

8051 From the money saved from her first full-time job she will buy herself a nice guitar.

8052 Valentino is very popular. Everyone likes him, but all he thinks about is poetry and no one likes that.

8054 When his parents fight, he will take money from his mother's purse to buy chocolate.

8055 Chaz wears Paco Rabanne and he wants to meet a girl that likes to dance and enjoy life.

8057 Gerald likes the arts. He does not go to anything arty, but he donates money. Maybe that's enough.

8040 Tony hates loud noises - they hurt too much.

8041 Julia wants to be loved and she loves people back.

8043 In the summer, on any perfect day, Gina rides a bicycle on Toronto Island.

8044 Life has been hard for Soledad, so she tells everyone, but she's also grateful to God that she has lived long enough to see her great-grandchildren being born.

8045 Paula wants to be a writer. She has written many poems but you know there is a book inside her, yet unwritten.

8046 Concepcion lives in a house with four rooms and an absence.

8047 Iris loves Carnival, her children and a simple glass of wine at the end of the day.

8048 Adele makes the best drawings. One day she will show them to everyone.

8031 Franco really likes Pele and he has a poster of his favourite soccer player on the wall of his room.

8032 Jesus had to grow up very early in life and regrets that now. He has played it safe.

8033 Sean wants nothing more than to travel to Europe, play guitar and see where the road takes him.

8034 Mario doesn't really like to speak English but he often has to;  it's part of his job. Portuguese is a lot more fun.

8035 Bob hates it when people ask him if he plays basketball or football, he likes sports, he is tall but and prefers to read a book.

8036 Marta works in Canada for six months, then goes back to Brazil to look after her grandmother in Fortaleza.

8037 Spencer works as a wedding photographer and loves sharing the joy of people in love surrounded by happy families.

8038 Samir likes ice cream. All flavours.

8039 Enzo has nothing to say. He doesn't like questions either.

7977 Keith grew up in a reserve in Northern Ontario. Can't really talk about it yet. He loves a good laugh, music and people with gentle souls.

7978 Her aunt is a famous writer also named Nélida.

7980 Fast cars and rock and roll: it's not complicated.

7981 Ivanka loves her family and friends with so much fervour she always makes comfort food for them.

7982 Maria is a teacher and loves children. Teenagers on the other hand, are a handful.

7983 Serge misses his home and family in Chicoutimi, Quebec.

7984 Nick plays hockey. He is fast, has got a great wrist shot and dreams about playing in the big leagues.

7985 Alberta is mostly just very sleepy.

7986 Rahul’s favourite musical group is The Beatles.

7987 Horses … she really enjoys dreaming about horses.

7988 Claude sells cars in Northern Ontario. It is a good but very quiet life.

7989 Caroline likes people people. She is wonderful. She is honest and kind but her laugh is a bit too loud for most.

7990 Kazim had enough of his mother's sweet tea. Pepsi just tastes better.

7991 John enjoys his life as a faithful servant of God. He also enjoys a fine scotch.

7992 Berta believes that all men are fools.

7993 The best thing about being three brothers is being three brothers!

7994 As far as Jim is concerned, the ladies can stop looking. He is it.

8004 Clifford prefers the good old days. He loves going for a beer at the Legion a couple of times a week. Just like home.

8005 Joao sells houses and dreams to families who can't really afford them.

8006 When she closes her eyes in the backyard under the grapevines, she dreams about Calabria.

8007 Everyone calls her The Dancing Queen because she has the best moves and the best smile.

8008 Life in the suburbs, a good job downtown, romance novels on the bus and on the subway, all time well spent.

8009 Family picnics in the park under a tree, that's Veneda’s happy place.

8010 Life is serious business.

8011 One day after his mother had yelled at him for losing a button, Nico told her with a straight face that he had not lost a button but instead had lost a buttonhole. His mother laughed with pride because she realized that she had an artist in the family.

8012 Laura is looking for a romantic handsome man who believes in God as well and wants to start a family.

8013 Dick hates taxes.

8014 Clara has written two plays, three short novels and many poems. Most of the time, she simply needs to write herself free.

8015 Catherine has studied violin at the conservatory it still wants to play in a fine orchestra.

8016 Jose thinks he is funny and smooth, not everyone agrees with him.

8017 Chico loves Samba and Bossa Nova and everyone loves it when he plays his guitar and sings.

8018 As a local politician, Silvio enjoys serving the community even if not everyone respects him.

8019 Amina really loves children and looks after many lovely little ones at the Elementary school. She has no children of her own but knows there is still room for one or two.

8020 Mark is athletic and popular. He does not think about whether there's more to life than that.

8021 Giovanna loves scary movies, popcorn and laughing all night over a bottle of wine.

8022 At The Rotary Club, Harvey is known for his great toasts and speeches. He also likes golf and a talking about business deals.

8023 Klaus is a contemporary artist with a quirky sense of humour. No one seems mind the strong accent.

8024 Math has taught Sam everything he needs to know about life. Sometimes it's an equation that yet needs to be solved.

8025 David believes that art is the hammer with which to shape society.

8026 Felipe wonders what it's all about.

8027 Ali emigrated from Egypt when he was 65 years old to live with his grandchildren. He had never seen snow before but he likes it very much.

8028 Nessa was a ballerina in her youth. It taught her a certain form of grace she practices, still, everyday.

8029 Talia is a wonderful mother. Tender, patient and calm, her mother would be proud if she were still alive.

8030 Gilberto remembers his life in Baraga Portugal when he was a little boy. He will return home one day to retire there.

8058 Eusebio was named after a great soccer player. His father loved soccer. Eusebio likes soccer too but he really only watches the World Cup every four years.

8059 Jimmy is a self-made man with plenty of helpful advice and a bad joke if you let him tell one. And no one cracks up Jimmy more than Jimmy.

8060 Bella was taught to enjoy the best things in life: God, love and country. She cannot wait to leave it all for the right woman.

8061 Gelareh is made of art, laughter, moonbeams, beeswax and tea.

8062 Mitch does not care about other people very much.

The Anthotype Process

An anthotype is an image created using photosensitive material from plants. This process was originally invented by Mary Somerville who presented her research to Sir John Herschel (who is often misquoted as the inventor) in 1842. An emulsion is made from crushed flower petals or any other light-sensitive plant, fruit or vegetable. A sheet of paper is covered with the emulsion, and then it is dried. Some leaves, a transparent photo positive or other material is placed on the paper; and then it is exposed to direct full sunlight until the image part not covered by the material is bleached out by the sun rays. The color remains in the shadowed parts. The paper remains sensitive against such rays. (Source: Wikipedia)

For these works, Red Poppies were collected from a patch of wild flowers near the CNE, and the resulting coated sheets of paper were exposed combined with positives for five days in strong sunlight.

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