The limits of photography

Moose Jaw artist and photographer Gabriela Garcia-Luna’s exhibit 'Kathgodam Express' is on display at the John V. Hicks Gallery until the end of the month. (Photo courtesy Sheila Spence)

Moose Jaw artist‘s travelling photography exhibit comes to Prince Albert

Three years ago, Gabriela Garcia-Luna was travelling through northern India by train, gazing out her window and snapping photographs of the alien landscape and passing Himalayan foothills.

It’s a journey the Moose Jaw resident has taken many times over the last 17 years, not only as a tourist, but also as a photographer and artist. A collection of those images is on display this month at the John V. Hicks Gallery at the Prince Albert Arts Centre in an exhibition called Kathgodam Express.

“My work is based on photography in the sense of frozen time or memory-time that photography can (convey), and also in the sense of reality in front of us… Reality is a subjective experience, so these images of Kathgodam Express are kind of a celebration of this vision in this foreign place and the introspection or subjective reality through looking through those windows,” Garcia-Luna explained.

“My work happens, in a way, spontaneously. I photograph whatever triggers my emotion or my curiosity and then I collect photographs … and I come back to them and work with them. The process is quote intuitive and it’s dictated a lot by the contemplation of the images itself and by bringing the emotions that triggered me taking them in the first place.”

Kathgodam Express is not a typical photography exhibit. After taking her pictures, Garcia-Luna performs a series of digital alterations, giving the works the appearance of impressionist paintings or stylized screen prints.

“I am interested in the limits of a photographic image as something that describes what we see and yet it’s not what we see. It refers to what we see but it becomes something else,” she said.

For more on this story, please read the Prince Albert Daily Herald¹s subscription-based print or e-editions.