The cold rainy weather was not enough to keep hundreds of art lovers from attending last Thursday's opening of the Enriched Bread Artists' annual studio tour. Now in its 11th year the tour and exhibition of work from 20 artists continues all weekend. Over the years some of the city's best-known artists have come and gone from the building, formerly the Standard Bread Factory.
This year marks the EBA debut of photographer Vivian Tors, an art editor for the Canadian Medical Association Journal, whose work is linked to the notion of passage. Tors documents the passage of time, travel and landscape germane to her family - her parents were refugees who fled communist-occupied Hungary in the 1950s for Canada. After losing many of the family's photographs and documents in the move, Tors said her father began anew, documenting their family's life in their adopted country.
Tors expresses the idea of collecting in a series of eight wooden curio boxes. Inside she places folded white linen with silk-screened childhood photographs of herself taken by her father. In each photograph the subject looks directly into the camera creating a dialogue between father and daughter. The body of work poignantly captures the mingling of their lives as her father nears death and is unable to articulate it.
"As human beings we all go through this passage," said Tors. "I expand beyond that and try to reconcile the meaning of his life and how I as his child have perceived that versus what his own perception of his life might be."
The work also parallels Tors' interest in the medium of photography and its historical progression. On a studio wall two small-framed photographs appear as old cyanotypes. Tors took them with a pinhole camera, scanned them into a computer to create a positive image and slightly coloured them to evoke the appearance of 19th-century photos.
Just outside the studio visitors encounter a large 31 x 46 inch silver gelatin black-and-white print of an elderly woman gently guiding a very frail, thin man as they ascend an interior stairway. The perspective, shot from below, shows her parent's figures as towering and strong as their bodies support each other.
On a studio wall Tors places crimped snapshot-size black-and-white photos on black album pages. At first glance they appear as landscape photos from a travel journal with titles that denote places visited (one reads "Niagara Falls, 1957"). They're actually cropped digital images of her father's body.
The exhibition continues at EBA (951 Gladstone Avenue) Friday, October 31 (6 p.m. - 9 p.m.); Saturday, November 1 and Sunday, November 2 (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.). For info. visit www.artengine.ca/eba or call 729-7632.