Exhibition Dates: October 21 – November 18, 2017
Reception for the Artist: Saturday, October 21, 6-9pm
Online Preview: beginning October 14 at ffotoimage.com
TORONTO, Oct. 12, 2017 /CNW/ - The Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present "The Tree Planters", our first solo exhibition of work by Canadian artist Rita Leistner.
Canadian tree planting is unique in the world and is entering its third generation. It has become an indelible part of our national identity, changing not only the geographic landscape of Canada, but also its cultural mindset. It is an essential contributor to Canada being the world leader in sustainable forest management, which all our futures depend on.
Best known for her work in war zones as a conflict photographer, Leistner came to recognize how the strenuous, remote job of tree planting prepared her for that role. Now she has turned the tables and is using her accumulated knowledge as a photographer to offer a unique perspective of her former occupation. After years of photographing war zones, Leistner reached a point in her life where she wanted to make photographs that did not represent death, despair, hatred, loss, and violence. These photographs were made in British Columbia during 2016 and 2017, while "embedded" within the planting camps of Coast Range Contractors.
Using high-resolution digital cameras and a battery-powered electronic flash, Leistner's large-scale colour photographs present the tree planters in heroic fashion; the sheer physicality of their work depicts a back-breaking dance of bodies, shovels, and dirt. While each photograph features an individual tree planter, they represent something more universal about hope, belief in the future, living in the moment, and the power of perseverance – one tree at a time.
Rita Leistner is a graduate of the International Center of Photography in New York and has a Master of Arts in comparative literature from the University of Toronto, where she has also previously taught the history of photojournalism and documentary photography. Her first sole-authored book, Looking for Marshall McLuhan in Afghanistan, was shortlisted for the 2015 Marshall McLuhan Award for Outstanding Book in the Field of Media Ecology. The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa has recently acquired fifteen years of Rita Leistner's work from Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Afghanistan—among the largest additions to the collection by any photographer and the largest by a female photographer.
SOURCE Stephen Bulger Gallery
For further information: Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1356 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Canada, 416.504.0575, [email protected]