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Jay Potts' Aging exhibit photo.

UCC students’ work gets PhotoSensitive treatment

Three Upper Canada College boys and one former student will have their work on display in downtown Toronto as part of the PhotoSensitive exhibit about Canada’s aging population.

Grade 11 students Arthur Rattew and Liam Black, Grade 10 student Jay Potts and William Boyle, who left UCC after the 2013-14 school year, took part in a photography project in the spring and had their black-and-white photos chosen for the exhibit.

Liam Black's Aging exhibit photo.

Liam Black’s Aging exhibit photo.

Black took a photo of his 90-year-old neighbour and says:

“The white of the subject’s hair and clothing contrasts the darker background of flora. In addition, I placed the subject on the right side of the photo, looking left, in order to create the effect of looking out and observing the world.”

Potts had this to say about his shot of an elderly man that’s shown at the top of this page:

“He sat on the corner of Gerrard and Carlaw for hours, saving up enough money for one slice of pizza at Pizza Pied down the road. Once he had enough, he marched over to this store, head held high. Walking out of the store, I saw underneath a thick layer of disparity a small sense of joy and accomplishment in buying that pizza — a day’s worth of begging really paying off. He had survived today’s hardships.”

Arthur Rattew's Aging exhibit photo.

Arthur Rattew’s Aging exhibit photo.

Rattew had an interesting perspective for his photo of his grandmother and mother, and explains it this way:

“In modern society it is commonplace for families to be separated by vast distances. This picture was taken to demonstrate the relationship a mother and daughter can have whilst separated by thousands of miles through the use of services such as Skype. The picture captures a scene of normality. There is a casual fire burning in the background and they are both sitting in a cozy living room.

“Taking this photo was somewhat challenging, as my grandmother (the woman on Skype) continued looking at the camera and acting differently whilst I stood there with an EOS7D. This was resolved by standing out of her field of view and waiting for my mother and my grandmother to engage in a conversation so that the photo succeeded in having more of a natural feel.”

The Aging exhibit will open at 7 p.m. on Sept. 15 in the south tower lobby of Royal Bank Plaza, where it will remain until Oct. 6. It will also be shown at 1 Adelaide St. E. from Oct. 6 to 27 and at 2 Bloor St. W. from Oct. 27 to Nov. 17.

PhotoSensitive was founded in 1990 by Toronto Star photographer Andrew Stawicki and former Star graphics editor Peter Robertson as a non-profit collective of photographers determined to explore how photography can contribute to social justice. It has since branched out to include photographers from across Canada whose work reflects issues that affect our social well-being.