Log Cabin Chronicles

Innovative art photo exhibit at Lenn's Uplands Gallery

rene bolduc
© 2004 John Mahoney

Posted 02.09.04

LENNOXVILLE, QC | René Bolduc of Sherbrooke discovered photography at an early age.

When his older brother received an enlarger for Christmas one year, young René became fascinated with the process of developing film and printing. He's been hooked ever since.

René Bolduc's photography exhibit quot;entre deux instants" is currently showing at the Uplands Cultural and Heritage Centre here. All nineteen of the images were taken with a large format 8x10 field camera. The negatives were then contact printed (without enlargement). This means the original details and tones of the photo remain intact.

I was especially drawn to a photo entitled "Mr et Mme Deschênes, 2001."

An elderly couple stands, holding hands, in front of their rickety-looking shed. Bolduc has caught a rather startled look on the man's face. In the background, a wooden ladder with irregularly-spaced rungs leans against the shed.

The exhibit is full of images such as this -- ordinary people doing ordinary things -- as well as photographs of nature.

Bolduc, born and raised in Sherbrooke, is an obvious lover of the Eastern townships. You can see this in his images.

"My eye gets attracted by something unusual," said Bolduc.

He'll knock on the door of a house and talk to the owner if he sees something on their property he'd like to photograph.

"I love it. They're all nice."

Many of the photographs were developed by a process called printing-out paper. This does not require a darkroom -- the images are created using an ultraviolet light such as the sun.

"It's developed with a very strong source of light. (Then) you just have to tone it and fix it. The image comes out with the sun, with the light."

The images are laid in a frame and then all you can do is wait. "I can take a beer, sit on the porch," said Bolduc with a smile.

This way of developing photos has been all but forgotten.

"It's a very particular process." said Bolduc. "I love to go to the darkroom, but this is another thing."

After his original love affair with photography during his childhood, Bolduc decided to dedicate himself to photography around the age of twenty. He studied printing in Montreal for a few years but when a job opportunity arrived back in the townships, he snapped it up. He's been in the area since then.

"Mansonville, 1997" shows a worn wood house on the banks of a trickling river. The water looks like molten gold.

"Saule II, Eustis, 2003" is a large willow tree in a forest. A forgotten swing set lies overgrown at the base of its trunk, among the shrubs. Every whispery leaf is there, stretching like a delicate web across the white sky.

"It (photography) is a hobby for me," said Bolduc. "No, not a hobby, a passion. There's a difference."

Looking at Bolduc's many vibrant photographs, the passion is evident.

"entre deux instants" is at Uplands, on 9 Spied Street, until March 28. Admission is free.

Isabelle Gallant attends Bishop's University in Lennoxville, Quebec. She is a reporter for The Local News, the on-line newspaper of the students in the webjournalism class, and is Arts & Entertainment Editor of The Campus, the BU student newspaper.

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Copyright © 2004 Isabelle Gallant/Log Cabin Chronicles/02.04