My Best of Beakerhead 2015

I am not particularly fast at sorting through and developing photographs, so it took me about a month, working an hour or two at a time, to get through the more than a thousand photographs I made during the five days of Beakerhead 2015.

I was about a third of the way through the process when the Beakerhead secretariat put together the official Best of Beakerhead 2015 flickr album. So once I was finally ready to stop tweaking the images in my Beakerhead 2015 photo library, I thought it would be a good exercise to assemble my own best of Beakerhead album. I was originally going to go with 10 images. But when I considered that the official Beakerhead “best of” album contains 32 images selected from more than 700 that were already each photographer’s “best of” images I decided I needed to be even more selective.

I’m not sure whether to I prefer to label them my best, my favourite or something else, but here are 5 images that I think are representative of my photographic work during Beakerhead 2015:

Photographed at “How to Stay Upright (by Juggling)”. Cardiologist Dr. Peter Nichol spoke to a full house at the Crowfoot branch of the Calgary Public Library. Through personal stories, gentle humour and ongoing Q&A, he described the difference between a hard and soft landing, demonstrated how balance is medically assessed and explained how aging can lead to instability. Twenty years ago Dr. Nichol started juggling as a way to train his balance system and maintain neuroplasticity and he presented a convincing case to the audience.
Calgary’s gurus of glassblowing, Bee Kingdom, unveiled Fabulist, their first inflatable, conceived as a giant ambassador of Canada designed for interplanetary exploration. This photo was accepted into the Beakerhead “Show, Don’t Tell” exhibition of photography, graphic arts and videography mounted at the Fleuvog Peanut Gallery in December 2015.
Four blocks of 10 Ave SW (between 14 and 18 Streets SW) were closed to traffic for a massive outdoor gallery of art and engineering, including fire-spitting skee ball, interactive works, performances and experiences, created in partnership with dozens of local and international partners. Free and open to everyone, Beakernight is at crossroads of art, science and engineering. Lighting projected on the underside of the elevated C train track provided amazing illumination and atmosphere.
Also at Beakernight, the energetic and talented DJs from BassBus attracted a huge dance crowd!
The Intrude Bunnies invaded Central Memorial Park in Calgary. Intrude by Australian artist Amanda Parer made its Canadian premiere at Beakerhead, representing the diversity of urban wildlife that surrounds us every day. I was particularly interested in photographing this installation, given my affinity for nearby nature. This photo was accepted into the Beakerhead “Show, Don’t Tell” exhibition of photography, graphic arts and videography mounted at the Fleuvog Peanut Gallery in December 2015.

For readers in the Calgary area, two of these photographs are part of the Beakerhead “Show, Don’t Tell” event opening December 1 at the Fleuvog Peanut Gallery. Details re: location and hours are here.

Members of the photo crew were invited to submit up to five photographs for consideration for the show. Renowned photographer, George Webber reviewed approximately 60 photographs and selected 25 for the show. He generously met with all of us one night earlier this week to explain the thought process that went into curating the show. His overall observation was that the photographs reflect the “public space” aspect of Beakerhead and are generally celebratory. He selected a mix of spectacle and intimate moments, some colour and some black and white. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to hearing his specific comments on each of the photographs and am really looking forward to seeing them all hanging in the Peanut Gallery in a couple of weeks!

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