Louise Francis-Smith, Ginger, 2010. Archival Ink-jet photograph. Courtesy of the Artist.

Louise Francis-Smith, Ginger, 2010. Archival Ink-jet photograph. Courtesy of the Artist.

Selected

Reflection

For the past forty years I have had my heart opened and lens focused on the street in a vibrant neighbourhood I call home. Reflection is an intimate portrait of this neighbourhood, capturing the spontaneous spirit of daily life, the content dynamic in colour, street scenes with and without people. It is about a rich, distinctive, built, and living heritage filled with familiarity and belonging changed little over generations. Moved not only by the human condition, but also by the beauty of the surface of things, details and colourful elements, architectural features, and ordinary people walking by, shopping at stalls where food spills onto the street, I am drawn especially to the juxtaposition of perceived beauty alongside the harsh reality of the often undervalued and neglected. The derelict and patina, old and new, ruin and renovation, and the way they collide and merge in the heart and soul of this neighbourhood have all informed my work.

When I first moved to Strathcona I saw such richness in backyard plots where vegetables and washing were hung out to dry. I had a strong sense of the families growing their gardens, eating from them and using every little bit. Chinatown, once vibrant, is now a neighbourhood in transition and struggling with its identity. Reflection represents an irreplaceable cultural heritage in images where barbers, fish markets, shoppers, and seniors are a part of the glue that was a unique feature of this historic Vancouver neighbourhood. By including everything and pushing away nothing, what is often not seen, or seen as ugly, can be transformed into an arresting image of truth and beauty. The ultimate meaning lies in the photographs themselves, not in my words about their meaning.

Unit 100 – 1000 Parker St Studios

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My Itinerary

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