The Process of Unbridled

  By Cathy Simone


In May 2013, I was offered the fantastic opportunity of a solo exhibition at Lougheed House Gallery during Exposure 2014. And thus began the process, and creation of Unbridled, a collection of my equine photography celebrating the essence of the horse and the spirit within.

For those of you who don’t know, I am somewhat of a perfectionist and slightly meticulous. The task of selecting 20 images from over 10,000 digital files was overwhelming to say the least. I had my favourites, but they were more single ‘stand alone’ images, and this work needed to be a unified collective of narrative and concept. August’s short list totalled 47 photographs. With further consideration given to colour palette and sequence, 34 images were then printed as contact sheets, and I found myself struggling with content… As a visual artist, one would think the “visualization” of exhibit would be executed with little difficulty. Lougheed House is a national historic site built in 1891, with an unconventional gallery which is a ballroom. This presented additional challenges when considering size, placement and position. I needed a concrete design of intent. And so, with camera in tow and measuring tape in hand, I detailed the gallery space from ceiling to floor. Upon returning home, I drafted a plan and proceeded to build a three dimensional model from foam-core and cardboard. Much to my delight, I could now place and rearrange the cut out contact sheet images with ease, and sequence began to develop story. The south facing alcove, once seen as impossible to fill, become the perfect platform of tribute to an incredible Peruvian stallion. The final edit had now become the exhibition Unbridled and the process continued. Each photograph was custom sized to fit its wall and resampled accordingly. 

All images in this series were photographed with a Nikon D7000; PhotoZoom Professional being the software of choice for enlargement of digital capture. Paper was selected to compliment image, aesthetic, colour, contrast, and output of both K3 and custom K7 carbon inks. By mid-November, I had a mound of test strips for review. Mixed lighting within the gallery space posed the next challenge- compensating for colour temperatures of natural daylight, warm tungsten permanent fixtures, and LED track lighting, consciously aware of prints viewed at home and at studios. Days turned into night and back into day fuelling a creative energy in preparation for outcome. Resolve Photo and Corner Framing were the best team I could have hoped for- exceptional craft and commitment, especially during the holiday season. 2014 was celebrated and welcomed. Cheers to inspirational rendering and meticulous nature.

Throughout this entire experience, this process, this journey, words of wisdom play in my head from the best teacher ever: “Pay attention to detail and mind to craft, commit your integrity, believe in yourself, and follow through.”
Lesson learned, with gratitude.

Unbridled is on exhibit until Sunday, March 2nd, 2014
Lougheed House Gallery
707 13th Avenue SW
Wednesday through Friday, 11 am – 4 pm • Saturday and Sunday, 10 am – 4 pm
Closing Reception: Sunday, February 23rd, 4-7 pm