Student Exhibits In New York Following Mentorship With Young Photographers Association

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Sheridan’s third-year Bachelor of Photography student Christa Giula was one of 72 students from around the world who was selected to create a photographic series with the Young Photographers Alliance as part of their mentoring program. Selected students received coaching from professional photographers and photo editors to develop series on the theme escape. The project culminated in a Toronto show at the Spoke Club on Jan. 20th, and a joint show of all the international teams in New York’s Calumet Gallery Jan. 13 – 17, 2014.

Over the past months, Christa put together her series called Portals, which uses beams of light cascading through windows to characterize the 2013 theme, escape. Her images are set in nature, and were lit primarily with only LED flashlights.

Toronto photographers Michael Cooper and Dave Cox served as Christa’s mentors. “Every week we would meet in Toronto and present whatever progress we made towards our series, receiving feedback on how to improve every aspect,” Christa explained. “The mentors really strove to ensure that my final series was the best that it could be. They encouraged me to push beyond my limits, from helping me to come up with a clear concept, to receiving instruction on different light painting and propping techniques. We also ran workshops on different lighting and shooting demos, familiarizing ourselves with the different cameras that our mentors owned. Through working with these mentors, I learnt a lot about how to conduct myself as a professional in the industry, and received some valuable advice on how to market myself.”

Christa also found that planning her own photographic exhibition in Toronto and being responsible for everything from booking, promotion, and execution was an extremely valuable and rewarding experience.

“New York was awesome!” Christa exclaimed. “It was so great getting to meet and chat with the founders of YPA. It was amazing meeting the other mentees from around the world as well, and getting to look at everyone’s images and read their artist statements. I walked away with a couple of new photographer friends from LA that I otherwise wouldn’t have connected with.” And that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it.

The following is Christa’s artist statement about her series, Portals:

Toronto Photographic Exhibition Submission
Christa Giula
“Portals” Artist Statement
“The desperate feeling of wanting to escape is something that everyone struggles with at some point in their lives. Life throws situations at us that often seem unbearable. An abusive relationship, bullying, financial issues, the list goes on. In those traumatic points of life, it is easy to believe that there is no escape. My photographs are meant to expose these situations, and encourage that there is not just hope for the future, but a positivity and light that you can look to throughout trials. My photographs are about coming to grips with the terrible aspects of life, the internal and external struggles that we face daily, and realizing there is still beauty in life, and days to look forward to when the troubles disappear. Similar to a “light at the end of the tunnel” scenario, my photographs emphasize light as the source of escape. Beams of light cascading through windows are the portals which lead to a greater destination, with paths of light leading up to them representing the journey. Maybe a door hasn’t opened yet to walk through, but there is a window to look into and picture better days ahead. These portals are placed in outdoor nature settings, suspending in the air, or rising from the ground, creating a surreal effect. These scenes are places for those seeking peace and neutrality, who look to the light to escape the negative situations in life. Additionally, a human presence is subtly indicated in these images. Although there are no people shown in these photographs, the remnants of them exist as if they have come and gone off to a better place. While in the midst of terrible times the end can seem so far away, my goal is to bring to light that it exists.”

Keep up with Christa on her website here.

If you want to learn more about Sheridan’s Bachelor of Photography program, click here.

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