Leslie Ordal

Black and white photograph of a street scene with 2 people's back facing the camera.

Koreatown, October 2019 - 2



Exhibiting in the gallery April 15-28


In my photo archive there is an obvious division between pre-pandemic street scenes and the ones we have known since March of 2020. This image from late 2019 on Bloor street in Toronto, shot with my 50+ year-old medium format Mamiya C220 camera, has the hallmarks of the “before”--an absence of masks, a close proximity to strangers, and a kind of slowness that has disappeared as we’ve all learned to rush through crowds, to hurry to our destination, to get away from others.


Like many health care professionals, I seek refuge in art and artistic practice. I work in diverse media, from short story writing to textiles and fibre arts, but film photography holds a special place as a mindfulness practice. Being aware of my surroundings, selecting a subject, considering light and exposure, shutter speed and aperture, the technical limits of the camera in my hand and the suitability of the roll of film in my camera–not to mention the week or two of waiting to see the final image–to discover that this practice produces quietness of the mind along with beautiful images feels like a gift.

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