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METRO GALLERY: Dollarama Camera

The featured exhibit runs May 1 – 31, 2024 in Metro Gallery in the Garneau Theatre lobby.⁠


Artist Reception: May 2 at 5:00 pm


Artist: Heather Noel



Artist Statement:
It started out of necessity, the need to use up some free 4×5 film without access to a large format camera. Fashioned from a dollar store cardboard box, a pop can, and some black tape, the pinhole camera captures images unmediated by lenses and digital sensors. Technological control is traded for playful acceptance, the security of precision is exchanged for the thrill of chance. Long exposure times invite motion blur and mystery artifacts, destabilizing the illusion of permanence. The single-photo nature of the camera provides welcome relief from the crippling infinity of contemporary image generation. Final images are digitally refined through cropping, retouching, dodging and burning, while still preserving pleasant imperfections.


Heather Noel was raised by herding dogs, children’s literature, and early 90s television on the farthest edge of Atlantic Canada. She graduated from NAIT in 2006 with a diploma in Photographic Technology, just as celluloid film was falling out of popularity, and cellphone cameras were on the rise. In the decades since, she has been slowly accumulating a collection of film cameras and maintaining a personal artistic practice. She has worked with super 8mm and 16mm motion picture film to make her own short films, and contributed to various local independent film projects. She is also obsessively dedicated to her full-time job as Metro Cinema’s programming manager.