For Micheal Zarowsky, paintings of water form a visual language of their own. “It is my coming to know, through studied detailed isolation of form, of the essence of ponds, rivers, streams and lakes of the Ontario North,” says Micheal who has developed a distinctive way of seeing and conveying the world’s beauty that pushes towards abstraction. “The paintings are an expression of the distances to which I was able to lose myself, lose my edges, becoming one with the moment wherever it found me, while interacting and realizing the world around me.”
Pond is a collection of images taken in the same location over a period of many years. “It represents a place that draws me, one of many we hurry past, discrete, almost secret,” says Jane Croteau who now photographs fewer subjects but going into them in more depth with some projects taking many years to develop. “Muskoka is a community and a state of mind, identified by its expansive lakes and dramatic seasonal appearances. This pond is a tiny piece of the grandeur; every season showing a different face.”
These images of a single Muskoka pond will be shown at Muskoka Arts & Crafts’ Chapel Gallery from April 28 until May 19. They cover all seasons and varying levels of water. One of Jane’s favourite images is Spring Reflection that was taken in early spring, with high water and few leaves with brilliant light cascading through to make the water sparkle. There are winter shots where it is hard to believe the space is anything but a clearing in the wood. Snow and ice fill the pond, showing it in an alternative state. The autumn usually brings low water and dying leaves. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a photo-mosaic that combines over 14,000 files drawn from Jane’s entire library of images shot of this place since 2005.
Preparing for this show was a balancing act – what to include, what to leave out. “The fact that this show is all images of the same place made it a bit harder as I wanted to represent the idea of a changing place that by itself is only a modest example of a wetland,” explains Jane who received her first camera at the age of nine.
When looking at the collection of photographs, Jane hopes that the viewer stops and thinks about scale. “All water is precious to life and these small ponds generate so many living things,” reflects Jane. “I hope a viewer sees beauty and tranquility in this small slice of a woodland.”
Pond opens with a public reception on Saturday, April 28 from 1pm until 4pm with Jane in attendance. The exhibition continues at the Chapel Gallery until May 19.