Welcome to ELEMENTAL, a photographic exhibition by Andrea Cordonier.
Private View: Sunday, September, 2017 2:00pm – 4:00pm (by invitation + press)
Public Exhibition: September 11 – October 30, 2017
For more information, please click on individual tabs at the top of the page.
12 Things You Should Know About Andrea Cordonier
The first thing you should know about Andrea Cordonier is she doesn’t fit into a neat box. This confuses some people. She hopes you aren’t one of them.
You have to meet her in person. She is far more than the sum of words on a page.
She finds virtually everything interesting. She spends an awful lot of time wandering around and talking to strangers. This is how she knows things.
She’s the person to call when you have an adventure planned and need someone to ride shotgun.
She works in general management consulting, which translates as “doing whatever the client needs done” + “billing by the hour.” It’s flexible and action-oriented, a perfect mix.
Books are like crack. She’s collapsed into her addiction and regularly self-medicates.
She graduated from tradeschool with honours in Advanced Housing (Green Building). Her century home renovations are still not finished and probably never will be because life is one big experiment and good ideas take time (see Frank Gehry).
After more than 30 years of shooting, ELEMENTAL is the first solo exhibition of her photographic work. This is because life is one big experiment and good ideas take time.
Her four children, born a year and a half apart, have had an unfathomable influence on her personhood. But professional women aren’t supposed to talk about their children in public, or swear. Fuck that noise.
She is working to become fluent in French. She wants to attend a party at the French Ambassador’s residence in Ottawa and wax poetic – in exquisite French, of course – on the aesthetic and historical merits of the Birch Room (Le Fumoir).
She met her future husband on the train between London and Paris. She said “Come and get me and we’ll go to the bar car.” He heard “Meet me in the bar car.” It’s a good thing she fetched him before the train reached its destination.
She was a B.C. Lions cheerleader. She was also Miss B.C. Lions 19Eighty-Something. Everything is what you make of it.
Now you know.
A more formal bio can be found here:
Private View: Sunday, September 10th, 2017 2:00pm – 4:00pm (by invitation + press)
Exhibition: September 11 – October 30, 2017
An interpretation of earth, water, fire, winD and void
Generally, I shoot what’s before me. Partly, 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, who threatened to run onto the road or fall off cliffs, leaving only seconds to capture whatever had caught my eye. It honed my reflexes and made me preternaturally aware of my surroundings.
At that time, the sheer amount of data being uploaded to my brain kept me from going mad and released the endorphin rush one would normally ascribe to a sustained period of “flow.” By design and necessity, flow manifested itself in minute and unpredictable packets of time. But limitations are not such a bad thing. They’ve made me a more responsive and intuitive shooter.
When I began sifting through myriad photographs to cull and sort and, finally, choose images that would form this first show, the theme quickly came to the fore. I was reading “The Book of Five Rings” by Musashi Miyamoto, a Buddhism-infused book by a 17th-century Samurai swordsman which spoke directly to the five elements of earth, water, wind, fire and void, a simple yet striking way to describe the natural forces that repeatedly presented 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 already been granted Paradise in every soil, rock, sky and native plants and trees, and in the sun and rain that have brought life and longevity to this planet. This has been absorbed by my brain and my bones, forever altering the way I see and think and feel. We are inseparable.
But even the most elemental of my photographic pieces 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 selection of my work. As such, I’ve focussed on two styles:
On the brick wall hangs a single series of large format colour landscapes entitled “Drive-By Shooting, Saskatchewan.”
The B&W narrative non-fiction are arranged opposite, combining a series (“Ferry Hair”) with individually framed, thematically-connected yet otherwise unrelated pieces.
I have to start somewhere. This is where I’ve chosen to begin. I’m delighted to have you along for the journey.
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.