Seven photos by seven artists

Capturing the beauty of mundane stillness

The photography exhibit “7 x 7.”
The photography exhibit “7 x 7.”
In a photograph, the world appears to have stopped.  But in reality, people and objects on the other side of the lens continue to move. 
It’s a sense of motion — often lost in still photographs — that connects the wide range of photographs displayed in Raymond Vos’s “7 x 7” exhibit. 
This is the second year that Vos, a photographer, framer and owner of Gallery Raymond, has put the show together in downtown Kingston.  
The exhibit features seven different artists, each displaying seven different photographs. Vos said he asked each artist to either choose seven images on a theme or show diversity amongst their work.  
Iris Van Loon, one of the featured photographers, chose to display seven diverse images. She said she rarely shoots on a specific theme.  
“I carry my camera with me always,” Van Loon said. She said she doesn’t go out with an intention in mind, but instead simply sees something and knows when to take out her camera.  
“I want to capture the beauty of something that is mundane,” she said. She showed me a photograph of a bag of apples and one of wilting tulips entitled The Last Dance.  
Van Loon said she was about to throw the tulips away, as the petals were shriveled and about to fall. But her photographer’s instincts tapped her on the shoulder and she snapped a picture.  
“They speak to me still,” she said, even though it has been two years since she took the photograph, and she has taken many more since.  
Her more recent work plays with a minimalist aesthetic.  Her photographs, such as one of a single tree featured in the exhibit, often convey feelings of stillness and calm.  
When I spoke to Vos about his photographs, he said he’s always had an “eye for photography.” 
Vos’s bright photographs reflect his time in Kenya, which he spoke of with fondness. His seven pictures feature a variety of aspects of life in Kenya, portraying everything from grinning schoolchildren to a river with bright splashes of people washing their clothes at the bends in the stream. 
A sign under a blown-up photograph of three grinning schoolboys said all the profits from his photographs will be donated to the Kenya Initiative, an organization that raises money to send children to school.  
He told me about going to a school in Kenya and laughing with the kids as they waved and pretended to take pictures of him.  
“I was swarmed by kids,” he said. “[It was] one of the most exhilarating moments of my life.”  
The display will be on until Feb. 29 at Raymond Gallery, 334 Princess Street.  

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