Toronto based photographer, Barbara has built an extraordinary career in image making since beginning her practice in the 1980s. Underworld exhibits Cole’s ongoing under water photographic work inspired by choreographed dance.
According to the artist, “water is the essential ingredient of life. Its dual nature is fascinating. It is calm and ferocious, gentle and strong embodying that collision of the real/unreal that I have long cultivated in my work.” The movement of the figure under water portrays a textural richness, rendering the subject as fluid and abstract. Cole’s painterly dancers reference a fantastical place, steeped in the ethereal. “Under the water, there is an altered sense of reality… Movement is slowed as though to be savoured, the outside world is transformed into a distant dreamscape. Sounds become almost tangible.”
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
Barbara Cole has been exhibited worldwide and is extensively collected by public and private institutions. Throughout her career, Cole has worked internationally on commercial projects and large-scale commissions, including in Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital and Trump Hollywood in Hollywood Beach, Florida. Her series Underworld was exhibited at the Canadian Embassies in Tokyo and Washington, D.C.
Cole’s awards include the Grand Prize at the Festival Internationale de la Photographie de Mode in Cannes, and third prize at the International Photography Awards in New York. In 2012, the acclaimed documentary series Snapshot: The Art of Photography II featured Cole’s photographic practice.