Volume 95, Issue 3

Thursday, June 7, 2001


If the Lights are on, dance

Who would have guessed: Canada is art?

Only Superstars are Hardcore

Rancid alter ego misses mark

Who would have guessed: 
Canada is art?

Photography by Roberta Bondar
Now Showing at the London Regional Art and Historical Museum through July 1
Admission: Free

By Alisa Mamak
Gazette Writer

Photo by Roberta Bondar
Anyone who is really passionate about Canada is sure to enjoy this patriotic vision of our homeland compiled by former astronaut and Western graduate Roberta Bondar.

Canada's first female astronaut and Western graduate, Roberta Bondar, is once again pioneering new frontiers; however this time, it's in the field of photography. 

Bondar's exhibit, Passionate Vision, is currently showing at the London Regional Art and Historical Museum from 12-5p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. It features photographs taken by Bondar during two years of travelling through Canada's national parks by helicopter, train, boat and snowshoe. 

The collection is a diverse montage of oversized, landscape scenes and also features an interactive multimedia component in which one can see the artist speak about specific works and their development. 

Although the exhibit comes across as a blatant attempt to arouse Canadian pride, there are no cliched allusions to metaphoric tossed salads and melting pots.

Instead, Bondar's breathtaking photographs are a tasteful display of modest pride in the dynamic beauty of some of Canada's greatest hidden treasures. Through exquisite technical skill, Bondar developed large-scale photographs of Canadian mountains, waterways and skies in unparalleled shades of blue set against ice flows which convey the true meaning of "the Great White North." 

It's almost hard to believe all of the photographs were taken in Canada because, if one wasn't aware of this fact, the photographs would appear to be a global catalogue of every topographical and meteorological phenomenon known to man. 

Ultimately, one of the biggest mistakes any artist can make is to create works so conceptual, they become incomprehensible to the public. However, Bondar's photographs successfully avoid this trap because of their aesthetic merit. 

This is art for the masses at its best photographs in which concept and intent is secondary. In fact, the only concept or intent the artist asks the viewer to keep in mind is explicitly stated in the name of the show Passionate Vision. The viewer is left to appreciate what they see with little direction or interference and enjoy the process of simply viewing. 

With Canada Day less than a month away, the show is well-timed and particularly inspirational for those who believe there is something more to being patriotic than just lighting fireworks. 

Bondar's photography as captured in Passionate Vision reveals a side of Canada that will infect one with the desire to travel and explore. 

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