On Display: FEM: Photography Exhibition

Category: arts 159

The women of NBCCD’s graduating photography/videography program have an exhibition of work currently on display at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre. We asked exhibiting photographer Miriam Torres López to walk us through one of her pieces. 

The Glamorous Life of a Photography Student by Miriam Torres López
Matt Carter 

Students of the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design’s all female photography/videography graduating class are currently exhibiting their work at the Charlotte Street Arts Centre. The exhibition, FEM, opened April 13 and will be on display until mid May, features work by Miriam Torres López, Sylvia Loomis, Grace Hallewell, and Ivy Grenier. 

The Glamorous Life of a Photography Student, one of several included in this current exhibition, is a striking photo by Miriam Torres López that incorporates several contrasting visual elements in an ode to both Annie Leibovitz and French photographer Felix Nadar.  We asked Miriam to share the story behind this photo made in 2021 during her first year as a student of the Photography/Videography Diploma program at NBCCD.

“There are three levels of interpretation in this image,” said Torres López. “This photograph is inspired by photographic work that Annie Leibovitz made for Vanity Fair magazine in February 2009, where Leibovitz pays homage to the French photographer Felix Nadar. In her photo, Annie recreates a portrait of the famous actress Sarah Bernhardt taken in the 1860s by Nadar. Leibovitz portrayed the actress Cate Blanchett all dress up sitting in a very similar pose as Sarah Bernhard in Nadar’s photograph, but what captivated me was the environment where the photo was taken, Blanchett is sitting in the middle of the janitor’s room of an Australian theatre. That contrast between glamour and everyday life is what I wanted to capture in my work. Being a photographer can sound very glamorous, but there is a lot of hard work, and sleepless nights behind the scenes, especially being a student and working at the same time like many of my classmates. So, this photograph is also a tribute to them, the NBCCD photography students.

“I have staged this image in the photo studio at NBCCD with tools of my craft. My hair, makeup and outfit mimicked both Cate’s and Sarah’s. I chose to wear a winter blanket as a coat to have another contrasting element that would highlight the duality of glamorous and day-to-day. My makeup is elaborate, but I did not cover the dark circles under my eyes to emphasize the sleepless nights doing schoolwork. I used a Rembrandt light on me and gel lighting for the background to make the environment more dramatic.”

Stop by the CSAC to see The Glamorous Life of a Photography Student and all the work on display in this exhibition. 

On Display | FEM: Photography Exhibition | Charlotte Streets Arts Centre | 732 Charlotte Street | On display until May 13.

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