Ian Davis and Ken Solilo – The Colborne Art Gallery 2023

Small Group Exhibit

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Ian Davis & Ken Solilo - Two Perspectives of Water

The Colborne Art Gallery
51 King St. E.
Phone 905-355-1798
Website www.thecolborneartgallery.ca
Facebook facebook.com/colborneartgallery

Gallery Hours
Thurs to Sun: 12 pm-4 pm
Mon to Wed: Closed

Ian Davis
Email ian@iandavis.photography
Website iandavis.photography
Instagram instagram.com/iandavis.photography

Ken Solilo
Email kensolilo@gmail.com
Website kensolilophotography.com
Instagram instagram.com/kensolilo3

Saturday April 15, 2023
12 pm to 4 pm

Two Perspectives of Water

Ken Solilo and Ian Davis first met as new members of The Colborne Art Gallery. As the only photographers in this artists' cooperative, they recognized that they were kindred spirits, viewing and interpreting their world through a lens rather than a paint brush or some other artist's tool. It didn't take much discussion for them to decide to participate in the SPARK Photo Festival (Ian was in the 2018 edition).

Bouncing around ideas for their exhibit's theme, they thought something connected to the SPARK Juried Exhibit might work. Hence, Two Perspectives of Water. Building on this, and in recognition and support of Ken and Ian's exhibit in SPARK, the opening show for The Colborne Art Gallery is entitled "SPLASH". Both SPLASH and Two Perspectives of Water run from March 10 to May 7, 2023.

Ian and Ken bring two different sensibilities to photography. Ken is often more literal while Ian tends to be more abstract. Both use colour and black & white photography to better emphasize mood and interesting lighting conditions on the subject. And, for each photographer, capturing beauty, be it subtly or boldly, is paramount.

Ken Solilo
Capturing that unique moment or one image is everything to me in my photographic work. When I look at a scene my eye is trained like a camera lens where I am able to pick out a portion of that scene. Part of my inspiration is how the light and colours transform a landscape. An image I see through the viewfinder and captured with my camera can be shared with others to replicate a feeling or trigger a memory. Photography is my form of expression and allows me to share with others the light and shadows that create the beautiful images that surround us.

I first learned about photography from my Dad when I was about 8 years old. Growing up in Regina Saskatchewan when it was too cold in the bitter prairie winters to go on the outdoor rink or on the street for some pick-up hockey I would take over the laundry room and convert it into a darkroom. There I learned to develop negatives and make photographic prints.

The hobby inspired me to go to Ryerson University in Toronto to take the Photo Arts course. I majored in Cinematography turning a hobby into a career that spanned over 40 years. I started at CFTO in Toronto in 1972 as a film editor. Later I moved into the position of a cinematographer which was the direction I wanted. In 1976 a position opened up with the CBC in Calgary and I spent the next 8 years working there. About this time the technology was changing and film was being replaced by video tape and a cinematographer became a videographer.

In 1984 the CBC was increasing its coverage in Southern Saskatchewan and I moved back to Regina for the next 7 years. In the early 90’s the CBC experienced budget shifts which resulted in station closures and in 1991 I moved to Toronto, working for the CBC for the next 20 years. I worked on many CBC shows including ‘The National News’, local news programs, ‘Living In Toronto’, ‘Sports Journal’, ‘Hot Type’, ‘On the Arts’ and many features which were included in other programming.

Even though the body of the camera has changed there are still lenses to use and a viewfinder to look through to compose the shot. Retiring from the CBC at the end of 2011 and still with a keen interest in the art of Photography I started my own business based in Port Hope, Ontario. For a sample of my work visit kensolilophotography.com

Ian Davis
When I'm shaping images, I want the viewer to enjoy the moment without having to find “the story”. Just soak it in. When I look at other works of art, I might say “wow”, “cool”, or “that's beautiful”. I simply want to feel the visual experience and not think about it. And I want my own art to reflect this.

I'm guided by feelings such as beauty, amazement, wonder, and peacefulness. The final image needs to elicit these. Shocking, disturbing, depressing, anger, alarm . . . these are thoughts and feelings I avoid in my work. I really hope the viewer can chill and just enjoy the image. No thoughts, just peace.

For most people, digital photography isn't a tactile experience. For me, however, it is. I have a very high-quality printer, I use wonderful archival quality inks and papers, scratch build many of the large frames, and mat the image myself. In all, this is a very tactile experience for me, something I feel compelled to share.

While Campbellford is now my home, I’m originally from St. Catharines. Along the way, I made stops at various points in Northwestern Ontario, Labrador, and then back to Niagara for a few years. From 1988 to the present, my wife Trish and I live alongside the Trent Severn Waterway.

My grandfather was my first inspiration in photography. He would go out and take pictures “just because”. Grandpa spent time in darkrooms, owned many different cameras, had hundreds and hundreds of slides and prints. He showed me what a contact sheet was and talked about darkrooms (he had a tiny one in his basement). Unfortunately, just as I got started with one of his older cameras, he passed away. But at least he gave me an important introduction.

Throughout the years, I shot photos with various film and digital gear. When I was a bush pilot flying in northern Canada, I always travelled with two things: a fishing rod and my manual Mamiya SLR. After I left flying and entered university, my photography was put on pause other than for recording family and life events. (However, I did enter a few northern landscape photos into university photo contests and did rather well.)

It was my brother and adult sons that prodded me back into photography but in a serious way. In 2015, with their help, I acquired the necessary drones and updated camera gear to get me started in real estate photography. While that gig was somewhat short-lived, my passion for fine art photography had mushroomed.

Nowadays, I shoot with a Sony mirrorless with various prime and zoom lenses spanning 12mm to 350mm (and a DJI Mavic drone). This gives me tremendous flexibility in how and where I can shoot. I also use speed lights off-camera. My imagery interests are fairly wide and I've sold several prints. The prints I've sold have almost entirely been of some sort of “scape” while video I've sold for stock footage has mostly been shot at night. (My most recent video sale was of the Cobourg marina . . . at night.) Today, particularly since becoming a member of Spirit of the Hills and The Colborne Art Gallery, sales of my various prints, cards, calendars, publications, and stock video footage have slowly increased. Yay!! I'm certainly not got to get rich doing what I do nor do I expect to. But photography is very good for the soul and that's the most important reason I do what I do.

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