“Early family vacations began an insatiable appetite for the open road. Heading out at every opportunity to explore the lifelines of an industrial landscape. From weekend excursions to a yearlong motorcycle odyssey across the Americas. Taking photographs of places left behind, abandoned churches, industries and towns, I found beauty in the faded memories of those that came before me. After years of working in the high tech motion picture industry I began an exploration into the low-tech origins of photography. Uncovering the magic of the Camera Obscura my photography was instantly altered. With digital failing to capture my vision, large format film has become my technology of choice.
The idea felt completely natural. To create Camera Obscuras in abandoned places and photograph the cohesion of an interior haunting past with the imminent exterior forces. This evokes a human story about a place, time and set of circumstances that could have led to their abandonment and a witness to its reclamation.” - Colin Smith, 2013
Originally from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Colin Smith attended the Alberta College of Art. Currently residing in Calgary, Alberta, Smith employs the traditional optical technique of Camera Obscura to create compelling images with dramatic light, saturated colour, and symbolic juxtapositions. His work is represented in numerous private, corporate, and public collections, including the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. It has also been featured in publications such as Canadian Art and Preview Magazine. In 2012, he was invited to present a lecture for the Artists in Conversation with Curators series at the Leighton Art Centre. Smith has received awards from Outpost and Photo Life magazines, and was named first place winner of the 2013 Cenovus Art Competition. His latest exhibition, Obscure Inversions is on display at the Art Gallery of Alberta from Dec. 6, 2014 - March 1, 2015.