Water: Sustaining Life a Photo Exhibit

by Virginia Munroe

Water is our most precious resource. Urban Gallery, under the management of Calvin Hambrook and Curator Allen Shugar, paid homage to water this past Spring in a spectacular photographic exhibit entitled Water: Sustaining Life. As part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, the exhibit featured four photographers – Alex Turner, Chris Hominuk, Karen Silver and Maria Ricossa. Here’s a bit of background on these photographers, as well as their perspective on what inspired them when taking these shots.



Karen Silver is an Executive Producer of TV Commercials and a Photographer. “I’m fascinated by reflections, things that at first glance might not be so noticeable. It began with photographing reflections in large soap bubbles and then recently, reflections in water.”

“As I see it, we live in a fully magical world.  Through my photos I can explore what lies beyond the surface. To be able to  share this magic with others delights me . At this recent exhibit, the ‘Swamp’ image elicited a visual for a patron where they could see two flamingo heads . Now that’s very cool.”



MARIA RICOSSA – ‘Blue Dress’

Maria Ricossa is an actor and photographer who observes people, hoping to recreate truthful behavior onstage or in front of a camera.  Drawn to street photography, she watches people -capturing a story or a dramatic moment. She witnesses and documents private moments, after which things will never be the same.

“The blue of the little girl’s dress caught my eye, as I walked by the park in the beaches. It was the kind of blue that reminded me of another time – maybe the 50’s. I saw her lean over to drink from the fountain and snapped the photograph. When I looked at it later I saw that she wasn’t actually drinking but, rather, leaning over, looking at something in the dark.”


CHRIS HOMINUK – ‘Oneida Falls’

Chris Hominuk is a self-taught award winning landscape photographer. “My passion is capturing the calmness of nature. I’ll drive, paddle, or hike great distances to get that ‘one shot.’ In my work I concentrate on near/far exposures to reveal the importance of what’s both in the foreground and the distance.”

 “Oneida Falls was captured on a foggy morning in the fall of 2015. It is in Ricketts Glen State Park in Pennsylvania. This park is home to 24 named waterfalls but Oneida has always been my favourite.  This image was taken with my tripod in the water, and my camera only a few inches from the ground. A longer shutter speed allowed me to capture the movement of the water. This image brings my senses back to that moment and I can still smell the leaves and hear the sound of rushing water.”

ALEX TURNER – ‘Transformation’

Alex Turner’s work has been exhibited in Toronto and Western Canada. His photographs are in collections in Canada and the US. “These compositions seek an alignment of visual elements into an abstract whole. The results -sometimes manipulated -are often more like paintings or etchings than photography.”

“I was cooking vegetables in my kitchen one night for the evening meal. I noticed water globules nesting under the steamer’s glass lid, refracting blue from an overhead skylight. The otherworldly patterns they made, it was steam condensing. A phase shift from water to gas, and back to water again. There was a shift in my perception, too, as I watched the ordinary transform into the sublime.”



Visit Urban Gallery by appointment at 400 Queen Street East or at urbangallery.ca.