About Andrea Cordonier
A camera has always been indispensable to, and inseparable from, Andrea Cordonier’s experience of the people and places around her.
Her interest lies at the intersection of people, their homes, and communities. Like her reclusive hero, photographer Vivian Maier, she has amassed a wealth of images from her urban and rural explorations. As part of a photographic team from the Workers’ History Museum, Cordonier spent six months shooting the E.B. Eddy site prior to its redevelopment. Her milestone 2017 solo show Elemental marked her move into the professional ranks. She sells work privately and commercially.
From Vancouver, she currently lives in rural Ottawa.
Find out more:
ELEMENTAL: An interpretation of earth, water, fire, wind and void
Generally, I shoot what’s before me. In part that’s a reflection of my time not being my own for so many years. More often than not, I was shooting with kids in tow, kids who threatened to run onto the road or fall over cliffs, leaving only seconds to frame and capture whatever had caught my eye. But limitations are not such a bad thing; they honed my reflexes and made me a more responsive and intuitive shooter.
I still shoot quickly and precisely, mostly in situ with natural light. Cropping and de-saturation are my primary post-production tools. What I see is what the viewer gets.
When I began sifting through my wealth of images to cull and sort and finally choose those which would form this first show, the theme quickly came to the fore. I was reading The Book of Five Rings, a Buddhism-infused book that speaks directly to the five elements of earth, water, wind, fire and void. It is a simple yet striking way to describe the natural forces that repeatedly present themselves in my work.
We think we can conquer and subsume the natural world. We think we can somehow improve on it, create a more ordered existence. But we can’t. It’s already perfect beyond the shallow limits of our imagination. We have been granted Paradise in every speck and cell of soil, rock, sky, plant and tree and in the air, sun and rain that brings life. This fundamental connection has been absorbed by my brain and my bones, forever altering the way I see and think and feel.
But even the most elemental of my photographs have overtures of the human in them, implied if not overt. A distinctive narrative structure reveals itself through detail, bold composition, the use of light and shadow, careful juxtaposition, and select revelation. What is not seen is as critical as what is, demanding a second and third look.
In shaping the show, I’ve been mindful that ELEMENTAL is not a sweeping retrospective but the first public showing of a minute selection of my work.
I have to start somewhere and this is where I’ve chosen to begin. Thank you for joining me.
About Geronimo Coffee House & Gallery
146 Prescott Street
Kemptville, ON K0G 1J0
Tel: (613) 215-0401
Located 30 minutes from downtown Ottawa
Hours of Operation: Open 7 days a week until 4:00pm
The Owners: Terry and Lee are adorable not to mention unfailingly kind. Stepping through the front door of Geronimo is like entering their living room, a comfortable gathering place populated with a lively mix of locals and travellers. Take a seat at the bar for the best conversation you’ll have all week.
Food & Beverages: Serving all manner of coffee (the best in town!), specialty bottled drinks, locally blended tea, handmade sweets and savouries, breakfast sandwiches, lunches, soup and salads.
The Building: With soaring wooden ceilings, 70+ feet of exhibition space (including a gorgeous brick wall), classic wooden bar and oversized windows, Geronimo is the preferred cultural and social space in Kemptville. Tip: The sheltered, private patio out back is a hidden treat.
Parking: Free and on the street; additional parking behind the North Grenville Public Library on Prescott Street, just north of Geronimo.
Available Work From This Exhibition
All prints produced by Dave Andrews at Digital Art & Restoration
Framing by Framed!
Please inquire for pricing
Elemental Images – Black & White (8)
Image size: 8″ x 12″ Framed: 18″ x 21.5″ Birch framing 1.25″ deep
Alberta’s badlands are one of the most physically striking and wondrous regions in Canada. A treasure trove of dinosaur bones, rocks and minerals, humans are mere ghosts in an ancient landscape measured in millions of years.
At Thirteen is rooted in primal fairytales of loss and struggle. Her first heels, make-up, and woman-dress, she teeters away from childhood. She may turn to look back, but there’s only one way to go – onwards.
It is August and hot as Hades. Vendors line the piazza outside the Coliseum. An Asian woman makes delights out of fresh palm leaves. You choose the one you like, she pops it in a plastic bag, inflates it with a humid breath, and ties it off with a filament of fibre. It is a wonder within a wonder.
Max finds his spark on the darkest night of the year.
After the rain has stopped and darkness has fallen, the wedding reception spills out of the community hall and into the backyard. The woman with the ice cream cart dispenses itty-bitty bowls of happiness.
On this morning in March a foot of snow fell and Manhattan was not itself. It was possible to cross the streets without looking either way. There were dog sleds in Central Park and locals hugging on sidewalks. A robber gave up on robbing and disappeared in a snow bank. It was New York in muted, dreamy slow-mo.
At Second Beach pool in Stanley Park a crow waits patiently for his turn. Out of sight on the right side of the photo is a drinking fountain. When the boy is gone, he will hop down for a sip of fresh water then return to his post.
There are additional images available in this series.
Ferry Hair Series
(1 of 4 images shown here, framed together)
Image size: 8″ x 12″ Framed: 18″ x 60.5″ Birch framing 2.25″ deep
Ferry Hair is what happens when you mix Bella, a boat and a breeze. Part living sculpture, part spontaneous madness, it’s a bit of fun that reflects the love/hate relationship we have with our hair.
Drive-By Shooting Saskatchewan
(5 images = 2 diptychs + 1)
Size: 12.5″ x 19.25″ Mounting: Glass faced on aluminum frame (full bleed)
Images 2 – 5:
Size: Diptych 1 & Diptych 2: each is 21.75″ x 59.75″ Mounting: Glass faced on aluminum frame
All depths are 1.75″
There are additional images available in this series.
When you attend an indoor art exhibition, the weather outside isn’t particularly critical. But when you’re serving two kinds of gelato cones to guests (as well as prosecco, tiramisu cheesecake, biscotti, lattes, espresso and Italian sodas) it’s a nice touch when it’s a brilliant warm and sunny day (it was) and they can socialize on …
Conceiving and organizing this show presented a great opportunity for me to begin to learn the biz from the ground up. These are the people who showed me great kindness, who answered my endless questions and provided physical and mental labour to bring my first solo exhibition to fruition. This was a Big Deal and …
I don’t know why I should be surprised. Even when I’m uber-organized and have adequate time to complete a task, I rarely get done before the exact moment the clock runs out. It is the day before ELEMENTAL opens and, sure enough, we begin installing in the daylight but finish in the darkness. I’ve consulted …
Thank you for your interest in ELEMENTAL and the photographic work of Andrea Cordonier. Please get in touch if you have any questions, wish to purchase work or discuss future installations.
Social Media & Website:
FACEBOOK PAGE – @ElementalPhotographic
WEBSITE – www.elementalphotographic.com