Newsletter #189: February, 2021
© Chris Harris. All rights reserved.
If there is one thing the pandemic has done for me, it has filled up my calendar with so much to do and learn. This month’s Newsletter and Exhibition is testimony to a part of this past year’s experience.
I. For all Teachers & Educators: A Unique Offer
Last month, in response to my January Newsletter, I received an email from Steve Rodwell, who teaches at the Shuswap Middle School in Salmon Arm, BC. Steve has a student who is interested in photography, so he introduced him to my Newsletter. That Newsletter was the beginning of an educational series of Exhibits featuring the Chilcotin Ark. Steve and his student then shared the Newsletter with the whole class, to study and learn about The Chilcotin Ark as an extraordinarily unique Canadian natural history phenomenon.
Over the next year, I will be posting new Exhibits in my monthly photographic Newsletter where images and natural history content will describe the most unique features of the Ark. Because the Chilcotin Ark is the largest, contiguous, and most biodiverse intact wilderness complex anywhere in the temperate world, it offers an invaluable opportunity for students and teachers to research, learn, and discuss such topics as geography, natural history, biodiversity, the value of intact landscapes, and art.
Once buried in ice, this glacial erratic now stands like a giant cairn
Special Offer for Teachers:
Steve and his student have given me an idea.
I will gift a royalty-free Blu-Ray disk to any teacher who wishes to use my Newsletter and Chilcotin Ark Exhibit Series for education purposes. The Blu-ray contains two ½ hr. documentaries; one about the Chilcotin Ark and the other, the Wildfire of 2017. It also contains many other slide shows on unique landscapes of British Columbia.
If you or your school or organization no longer has a Blu-ray player, not a problem. The disk contains an address that gives you free unlimited online access.
For more information, please contact me with the name of your school, location, and class description. I look forward to hearing from you.
II. Driving for the Art of It: A Day Trip Down the Canyon
I was excited to start my trip in a blizzard!
Earlier this month, I had to make a quick one-day trip down the canyon to the Lower Mainland. Although I have made this trip a hundred times before, the thought of driving it still excites me.
Fortunately, the weather was unfavourable. I left in a swirl of blowing snow, but once I dropped off the Plateau, and began to descend into the Thompson and Fraser canyons, the snow stopped; I was left with a beautiful white dusting that gave new meaning to contrast and texture. I was in heaven!
Contrast and the division of spatial shapes brought me to a stop
With music playing, and my mind fully occupied composing hundreds of compositions a minute, I stopped periodically to make an actual image or two. Time flew by, and after what felt like a two-hour drive, I was in Hope. Beyond Hope it’s either illegal, or too life-threatening, to stop.
Below are a few of my favourite memories from the drive.
These cows were all headed to somewhere special; unknown to me!
Childhood memories of trains makes it irresistible to stop and photograph them
The approaching talus slope
St. Aidan’s Church of Pokeist
St. Aidan’s Church was constructed around 1880 in the small First Nations village of Pokeist. I made this photograph in a non-representational way to emphasize the sad and lost story of this settlement and its demise from smallpox.
You can see the church beneath a huge talus slope from Hwy. 97 on the east side of the Thompson River north of Spences Bridge.
How could I resist stopping to make this image? Such a Canadian narrative.
I drove home in the dark, but I have a favourite pullout where I can see a distant railway tunnel lit from within, and a winding stretch of highway above it. Inspired by Wassily Kandinsky’s abstract paintings, I composed this abstract expression during a hand-held time exposure. It is comprised of light from passing semi-trailers and the railway tunnel.
An expression of the night
III. Watch my Keynote Presentation at the North Shore Challenge
On March 6th I will present the illustrated talk Artistic Expression. Photography as Art as a keynote address for the 37th Annual North Shore Photographic Challenge. We will take you on a journey where the possibilities for visual expression become limitless.
This is the premier photographic competition in western Canada with entries from individual photographers and camera clubs in British Columbia and Yukon. The theme is open, so subjects will include wildlife, landscape, street, architecture, the human form, altered reality, and abstract.
IV. 2021 Photographic Workshops
Informative, Inspirational, Challenging, Creative
There have been a few date changes to facilitate the latest Covid-19 developments. For information and sign-up, visit the following website links.
V. An Exhibition of Rita’s Garden
This Exhibition, where I explore photography as an art-form, takes me on a fortuitous adventure to an unlikely place; outside my front door. It is an adventure of unexpected visual discovery.
One day last spring, with Covid-19 travel restrictions as an incentive, I decided to purposely explore Rita’s garden. Familiarity and the draw of more exotic and adventurous locations had caused me to overlook some expressive potential of my craft and myself. The result was beyond my wildest expectations.