An eye for urban beauty 

What: Urban Landscapes

Who: Pete Brennan, Megan Salcak and Jeff Pearlman

Where: Viseye Gallery

When: all month

If you’re feeling stuck in the bubble that is Whistler, you may need to take a trip to the city or perhaps even overseas. But you don’t need to actually leave this bikin’ and hikin’ haven to escape the rucksack race, you can just pop into BBK’s Pub for a cold one and check out a mind expanding new photographic exhibit titled Urban Landscapes.

Don’t expect the usual Whistler wildflower shots or any tried and true mountain moments in this unique photography show. Instead you’ll get an almost mystical take on city living from Pete Brennan, thought provoking snaps of Italy from Jeff Pearlman and an array of unusual architecture and portraits from Megan Salcak.

All three photographers happen to live in Whistler, relishing their careers and hobbies taking photos of the wilderness around us. But this time they decided to show another side of life – the influence of man and machinery.

"I think that there are a lot of people out there who want to see something different, stuff they don’t see everyday, or at every gallery," said Aussie import, Jeff Pearlman. "All of my shots in this exhibit are from Italy and a lot of people haven’t been there so I thought I could take them on a mini virtual tour at the Viseye Gallery."

Pearlman loves to shoot nature whenever he can but finds cityscapes a challenging yet enjoyable diversion.

"I really try to get a different perspective. Sometimes it’s not easy because a lot of monuments have been shot to death. I hunt around looking at hundreds of postcards and then try to do something that those photographers didn’t do. I might slow down the shutter speed or get down on one knee for the shot. Just changing the angle can offer people something they haven’t seen before."

Another Aussie import who has made Whistler home, for more than six years now, is One Earth Photography’s Pete Brennan. The adventure travel enthusiast admits he loves spending short bursts of time in cities.

"They fuel my creative eye more than nature does," he said. "It's important to get out of Whistler every once in a while too. Whistler may keep you physically active but you have to keep pushing yourself to remain mentally active. When you find yourself saying ‘dude, awesome, totally, right on, gnarly man’ more than a handful of times a day it's time to visit the city. Feed your brain as well as your body and soul."

So does Brennan find it ironic to be putting together photos for a show on city scenes in a nature mecca like Whistler?

"No, because cities are beautiful in their own special way and it looks like Whistler is becoming a mini city anyway," he said. "I find cities great places for shooting portraits. One of my favourites in this exhibit is titled Same Old, a black and white portrait of an elderly gentleman who worked for B.C. Electric. There is a great deal of history in that portrait, he was wearing his father's conductor uniform which had been passed onto him some years back. Those moments you just can’t get in the wild."

Megan Salcak has clocked up nearly one year in Whistler but comes from a background working in the big smoke. The Ontario-raised photographer has shot for events like the Molson Indy, the Juno Awards and the Canadian Country Music Awards. While she’s fallen in love with Whistler and its surrounds, her passion with the camera still falls on architectural exteriors and interiors, events and people.

The Urban Landscapes exhibit will run for the next four weeks at the Viseye Gallery in BBK’s Pub, next door to Chef Bernard’s Café in the Upper Village. Open every day.


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