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Local gallery displays unique photography exhibit

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The featured exhibit at a River Heights art gallery is offering a glimpse of what our world would look like from the point of view of a character in a book.


Journeys is the work of photographer Jason Poturica. It follows an unnamed character on a journey through the pages of a fictional story as he looks beyond the pages to see birds, sunsets, a park bench, and other adventures in the real world.


"The reader is imagining a world the author has created — this is the reversal, he sees what the reader sees and has seen in their lives," Poturica said of the exhibit, which will be featured at the Birchwood Art Gallery on Taylor Avenue until Nov. 11.

The ‘he’ is a silhouette of a three-centimetre tall plastic figure of a human used in several of Journeys’ photos.

Poturica, a Garden City resident, said because the character is in shadow, audiences can put themselves in its place.


Poturica spent nearly 2,000 hours over five years to create the series. He said the process of creating a diorama, lighting, taking the photo, and then matching tone and colour in post-production can take anywhere from 20 minutes to seven hours depending on the photo.


"It’s basically setting up…a Hollywood stage when I’m taking my photographs," he said.
Lyn Chercoe, who co-owns Birchwood Art Gallery with her sister Carole, said Poturica’s work is meticulous.


"I’ve had people say ‘Oh, Photoshop!’ and I tell them ‘No.’ It’s not Photoshop, he actually builds a diorama, he sets it up with this little (figure of a man), and makes art," she said.  


"When you have a passion for something it just grows — like a garden — he just keeps taking those pictures, and he really genuinely is critiquing himself all the time — he does not settle for second best."


The exhibit, along with a book featuring digital prints, was launched on Oct. 11 at Birchwood Art Gallery. The exhibit will be touring to Tofino and Victoria, B.C. in the spring. Poturica is working to set more dates in other galleries across North America.


"I’ve never seen anything like this before," Poturica said.


"You might walk into a gallery and say you’re a photographer and they won’t look at your work. Everyone is a photographer today — and that’s great. I want people to think of photography as an art form."


Journeys runs until Nov. 11 at Birchwood Art Gallery, 6-1170 Taylor Avenue.

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