A unique exhibition of photographs hangs on the walls at the artist-run Centre Gallery at ARTsPLACE in Annapolis Royal until March 25.
“Portraits of Tamara – Images of the City” by Daniel Heikalo opened on February 19 to perhaps some figurative jaw-dropping as guests glimpsed bits of the world through the eyes of not just a photographer but a master musician with the manipulative skills of a graphic artist. The result is out of the ordinary and into the realm of the abstract where reality and imagination meet.
Although he lives in Annapolis County now, Heïkalo was born in Montreal’s working class neighbourhood of Centre-Sud in 1954. He is completely self-taught and has been practicing the art of photography since 1965, when he started taking pictures of the old houses on and around the street where he lived, and of the architecture of Old Montreal and Old Québec.
His fascination with vernacular architecture has continued unabated to this day, and his work on the destroyed and disappearing architectural heritage of his native city has received a lot of attention.
“Some of my images are the result of scanning black and white pictures from a contact sheet (measuring no more than an inch) at high resolution, and enlarging, processing and recolouring them,” Heïkalo said of his work and process. “This produces a quality I have found to be unavailable through other means, including digital filtering. Several of the city images in this exhibit were created using this technique.”
In this current exhibition, Heïkalo has worked to transform light and contrast, or incorporate textures imported from other images, to bring out the existing almost abstract qualities of a subject.
Heïkalo’s photography has appeared on a series of postcards of Montreal, and has been published in Canadian Geographic, The Montreal Gazette, and The Nova Scotia Film Development Corporation production guide. His work that is of a more surreal nature, in the form of collages and digital imaging, has been used on several CDs. His work is also in private collections.
Heïkalo also works as a graphic designer, composer, and performer. He has recorded 25 CDs, for which he collaborated with his wife Tamara Thiébaux-Heïkalo on creating unique designs.
“Portraits of Tamara – Images of the City” by Daniel Heikalo until March 25.
At Annapolis Region Community Arts Council and ARTsPLACE Artist-run Centre, 396 St. George St. (at the lights), Annapolis Royal.
Phone: (902) 532-7069