Backyard exotica 

Photographers explore local landscapes and beyond

What: Exotic Landscapes Opening Reception

Where: VISEYE Photo Gallery, BBK's Pub

When: Tuesday, Jan. 27, 9-11 p.m.

The word "exotic" is often synonymous with a faraway locale. But a new exhibit opening this Tuesday at the VISEYE Photo Gallery defines "exotic" in more local terms.

Curated by original exhibitors Ellen Atkin, Jon Faulknor and Nelly Levesque, the gallery displays on the walls of BBK's Pub, a cozy little spot tucked into the space next to Chef Bernard's Cafe on the Blackcomb Benchlands. Following on the heels of Fresh, a solo show by Whistler local Dean Cote, the VISEYE is back to its conventional format of three photographers with Exotic Landscapes, the first new exhibit of 2004.

With several previous shows in the area under his belt including another VISEYE exhibit last year, the most prolific of the new trio is Dave Humphreys.

A professional photographer with a Squamish-based studio, Humphreys shoots mostly slide film with a Canon A2E set up. He says his contributions to Exotic Places will showcase desertscapes from Arizona and Utah as well as the South Dakota Badlands, but he also included local vistas in his selection.

"I still consider that exotic," explains Humphreys. "Just because I live here I don't think that takes away from the beauty of it or the exoticness of it. To stand up in the Tantalus range on one of the highest glaciers and watch the sun set, that's pretty exotic for me."

Displayed alongside Humphreys' work will be photos from first time VISEYE exhibitors Todd Lawson and Eric Jeanneau.

Lawson, currently a writer/photographer with the Squamish Chief, has been shooting in the area for the past two years. While he still makes use of a traditional 35mm film camera, he says lately he has been reaching more and more for his Canon D10 digital set up.

Landscapes will be Lawson's second showing in Whistler after his work was selected to be a part of The World As Our Teacher exhibit at MY Place last November.

Lawson says he chose mostly local subject matter for the Viseye show, defining the exotic in elements like colour and composition.

Rounding out the trio is Jeanneau, a first time exhibitor with the all-too-common background of coming to Whistler for "just one season," and four years later, finding himself still around.

Jeanneau's road to photography was one of personal development. For quitting smoking he says he rewarded himself with a simple Pentax 35mm camera and became an avid hiker, finding most of his subject matter on his various excursions all over North America.

Like Lawson, Jeanneau says most of the works he will be exhibiting at the VISEYE have been captured relatively close to home. But, he notes, pointing out the subjective nature of the term, the local vistas are what visitors consider exotic.

Visitors and locals alike will be able to check out Exotic Landscapes on the walls of BBK's Pub as of Tuesday evening. An exhibit reception takes place from 9 to 11 p.m. and features live acoustic tunes by local solo artist Leanne Lamour.

For information, call 604-932-9795.

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