Interpretations: Artist Lauren Kolyn on Light

Beam, the final chapter of our special Verano Collection, is our ode to the sun. Though thoughtfully created as an appreciation of the sun's warmth and light that shrouds and sustains us, Beam is also an acknowledgment of the sun's transformation in how it presents itself at the end of the season compared to the start, with the transition into autumn marked by its ever-changing path in the sky and stretching shadows it casts at our feet.

To help us honour this seasonal change, we asked Toronto and Montreal based artist Lauren Kolyn for her interpretation of the collection's concept of forging connections with others through the shared experience of appreciating our natural surroundings. We have long admired Lauren’s photography, the moments she beautifully captures, and the emotions they evoke. The following are Lauren’s words and photographs on the subject of light and shadows. We hope you enjoy!

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Light is my muse, a tool in my craft as a still and moving image artist and the way I observe the world. I do not and simply cannot see the world without noticing how light and shadow fill it. Observing light is a very grounding practice for me and provides inspiration and gratitude for what is right in front of us each day. It has the ability to draw us into the (present) moment. Below are some of my musings on light that I have documented recently.

Lauren Kolyn - Trees at magic hour. Solo camping trip at Bon Echo. July 2019Trees at magic hour. Solo camping trip at Bon Echo. July 2019

Lauren Kolyn - Judith, Muskoka River. July 2020Judith, Muskoka River. July 2020

Lauren Kolyn - Sand dunes [explorations of formation], Sandbanks Provincial Park. March 2019Sand dunes [explorations of formation], Sandbanks Provincial Park. March 2019

Notes on Light & Shadow - Photography

I once only considered photography as seeing the light in things,
until recently when this shifted and I began to embrace its duality.

The only way to completely see light is to also notice its absence,
the shadow.

A dance between moments of light and dark,
a metaphor for the joys and challenges of human life.
It's now become inescapable to see/consider one without the other.

The light cannot dance on the wall of our homes or deep inside a forest so intensely
without the contrasting partnership of light and dark.

I've been learning how to communicate in different ways using light & shadow.
To create a mood,
draw attention to detail,
tell a specific story,
or illustrate the passage of time.

An eternal storyteller,

light is art,
light is life.

Lauren Kolyn - Emergence of Spring, 120mm film. High Park, April 2019Emergence of Spring, 120mm film. High Park, April 2019
Lauren Kolyn - Roadside wildflowers, self portrait. July 2019Roadside wildflowers, self portrait. July 2019
Lauren Kolyn - Forest glow, 35mm film, Salt Spring Island. July 2018Forest glow, 35mm film, Salt Spring Island. July 2018

Notes on Light from quarantine [May 2020]
 
I am beginning to get quite good at knowing the time of day by where the light is in my apartment- 
albeit time no longer feels familiar. 
 
Light has been my only physical companion for weeks now.
Its shifting presence, 
a comfort 
something to look forward to.
 
I deeply enjoy watching it move throughout the space- 
waking me up in the morning, 
mid day in the kitchen forming diagonal lines created by the window pane,
intermittent shapes and dynamic glows in unexpected places on the wall, 
the evening light that illuminates the living room with rich golden hues is my favourite. 
 
From the level of treetops I observe the sunset in the distance.
Its warmth makes a good day great and a tough day better. 
As the sun slowly descends,
inside here the reflections grow smaller and tones darken. 
 
Another day has passed,
one moment at a time closer to a new beginning.
I anticipate tomorrow,
looking forward to what the light will bring.
Lauren Kolyn - Kitchen at home, 35mm film. November 2018Kitchen at home, 35mm film. November 2018
Lauren Kolyn - Various images taken at home in the evening light of my apartment. 2017-2020.Self portrait mirage. Various images taken at home in the evening light of my apartment. 2017-2020.

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We are incredibly appreciative of Lauren for sharing this beautiful perspective, words and imagery on light, particularly as we observe it shift this time of year. You can learn about Lauren's inspiring work on her website and Instagram.

Photography by Lauren Kolyn.

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