“Time is the measurer of all things, but is itself immeasurable, and the grand discloser of all things, but is itself undisclosed.”
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
“Precious time cannot be recovered once lost.”
JACK SPARROW, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
During the rush of time and water, a singular, contemplative moment is captured. With her telephoto lens Toronto artist Laura Millard has captured meltwater from the Columbia Icefields in this series of large scale works. Each one addresses the alarming rate at which our glaciers are receding while at the same time inspiring the viewer to experience a split second within that process.
In each of Millard’s painted photographs every drop has been suspended as a fragment of varying length by altering the camera’s shutter speed and either compressing or extending that instant. Motion, light and space animate our notion of passing time within the image and saturate the photograph with veils of falling water droplets becoming their own prisms against rock beds. Millard then spends much time considering and altering the surfaces of the photos and their elements. Months of careful over-painting lead to an intriguing dialogue between, artist, artwork, and viewer by accentuating some elements while further blurring others and in the process blurring the line between the work’s surface and the illusory space of the photograph.
Meltwater considers time: glaciers that may have taken hundreds of millennia to form are now melting away in the span of a few decades – an instant of that process is captured with a camera compressing those years into 1/60th of a second and then is extended over many months while paint is thoughtfully added.
Laura Millard has widely exhibited her work both nationally and internationally. She currently holds the position of Associate Professor at OCAD University in Toronto.
Curator, Latcham Gallery