Presentation House Gallery will open the exhibition Our Image, Your Image on Friday, May 30, at 5:30pm. The event marks the seventh consecutive year of our annual Chester Fields youth photography contest. There will be an awards ceremony for the Chester Fields prize winners, and a launch for the Our Image, Your Image catalogue publication at 6pm.
The Chester Fields contest was created by Presentation House Gallery to foster an interest in photography among North Shore and Lower Mainland students. Recognizing that the medium is a highly accessible communication tool, the project aims to give young artists a platform to expand their visual literacy by exploring the many ways photography can be used, not only as a means of expression, but also as an investigative tool and method of identity formation.
This year’s contest focused on the relations between photography and the notion of “image” taken in its more abstract sense: as a general impression or idea. Students contributed work that addressed a cultural image, a first impression or stereotype they felt strongly about. These impressions can come from photographic images: whether they be old black and white photos, phone pics taken on the fly, or jpegs shared on social media. When we see these photos out of context, how much can we really know where they’re coming from? To what extent do the photos we see reveal their context and the reality of a culture? Participants addressed these questions through a diverse range of photographic works that were selected for the exhibition.