“Cows have friends and are very nurturing. Pigs are incredibly intelligent and loving, chickens, too”
Article by Al Rivett
With the disappointment of art exhibitions postponed or cancelled due to the pandemic, Castleton visual artist/photographer Laura Berman is pleased to see one of the more prestigious ones going ahead.
Two of Berman’s unique photographic works are included in the Art Gallery of Northumberland’s (AGN) 42nd annual Juried Exhibition, which is on now at the Cobourg gallery until Nov. 14.
“I was due to take part in the Spark Photo Festival, and festivals in Peterborough and Northumberland County, which were all postponed. I was also due to participate in outdoor festivals in Toronto — the city hall show, and Riverdale show — and Buckhorn (in the Kawarthas), all cancelled. It was no big surprise, but it’s nice that there are some venues now coming back and I’m happy about that,” said Berman who’s making her debut showing of her works at the AGN Juried Exhibition.
The exhibition is presided over by three jurors and offers a range of work of visual artists from throughout the county.
“It’s a prestigious show because there are a lot of visual artists in this area. It was wonderful that both pieces I submitted were accepted for the show. The show has a limit of two pieces you could enter so to have both of them accepted was great,” said Berman.
A one-time Toronto-based photographer whose work appeared in gardening periodicals, Berman said since moving to Castleton eight years ago, her work has taken on a more agrarian focus, specifically farm animals.
“There are a lot of animals out here, my friends have animals, so it was especially great photographically to have something looking back at me. The personality of the animals captured my attention. (Their personalities) are something we don’t think about with farm animals, which are produced for meat. We don’t look at them as beings. Since I’ve been doing that, it has opened my eyes to personalities and ways of communications. Cows have friends and are very nurturing. Pigs are incredibly intelligent and loving, chickens, too. It’s all in how we choose to look at them. That’s what I try to bring out in my photographs, that they are beings not things.”
Her two pieces submitted and accepted into the AGN’s Juried Exhibition are of farm animals — one is two cows entitled ‘Stand By Me’; the other of a chicken is entitled ‘Arrangement in Grey and Black’.
“The first piece is of two cows and they are close, nuzzling each other and looking at me. One is looking at me, and the other is protected and comforted by the first one. The second piece is a chicken. I was struck by the graphic quality of her feathers which were black and white, that made a beautiful dress pattern. She was pecking at the ground for some feed. She’s just beautiful and graphic. I like to have the animal looking at me, but in this case, she was perfect just as she was.”
The AGN 42nd annual Juried Exhibition opened yesterday (Tuesday, Oct. 27). The gallery is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. by appointment only due to COVID-19 protocols. The exhibition runs until Nov. 14. Make an appointment online at artgalleryofnorthumberland.com.
In addition to the AGN show, Berman will also be taking part in two virtual art shows, one with Ontario Society of Artists and that’s online at ontariosocietyofartists.org on Nov. 4. She will be taking part in another show called Transformations at the Pennsylvania Centre for Photography on Nov. 7. Two of her pieces will be displayed on the group’s website at pacentreforphotography.org.
Berman’s works can be viewed online at laurabermanphotography.com.
Art Gallery of Northumberland Gallery
October 27 to November 14, 2020 in Cobourg ON
open by appointment Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
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