Focus on the Collection: Dianne Bos

Discover works recently acquired by the Canadian Photography Institute.

Dianne Bos, Chateau Buggy with Orbs, 2016

Dianne Bos, Chateau Buggy with Orbs, 2016, chromogenic print, 100.2 x 100.3 cm, purchased in 2017, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dianne Bos. Photo: NGC

 

Dianne Bos is best known for photographs created with pinhole cameras — a device that involves, at its simplest, piercing a small hole, or aperture, into the front of a box. Her interest in science has led to work infused with scientific experimentation, including numerous images evoking celestial objects.

 

Using a single candle or bulb, she simulates through long exposures the multitude of light sources that comprise galaxies. When developing images in the darkroom, she sometimes uses photogram effects. In Archenbold Telescope with Orbs and Chateau Buggy with Orbs, for example, she sprinkled crystals onto the photographic paper before exposure in order to create a constellation of stars. These constructed depictions raise questions about imagery produced by technologies, such as telescopes and other astronomical devices. In her travel photographs Venice Bifurcated and Narbonne Plage, France, she focuses her attention on the relationship of captured images to place, time and memory.

 
​Dianne Bos, Archenhold Telescope with Orbs, 2016

Dianne Bos, Archenhold Telescope with Orbs, 2016, chromogenic print, 100.2 x 100.3 cm, purchased in 2017, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dianne Bos. Photo: NGC

Dianne Bos, Narbonne Plage, France, 2001

Dianne Bos, Narbonne Plage, France, 2001, gelatin silver print, 99.8 x 99.2 cm, purchased in 2017, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dianne Bos. Photo: NGC

 

Learn more . . .

 

Biography

Dianne Bos (Hamilton, Canada, 1956–) is a Calgary-based artist, celebrated for her work with pinhole cameras. Taking the advice of one of her art professors, Thaddeus Holownia, she began exploring the technique in the late 1970s at Mount Allison University, New Brunswick. Constructing pinhole cameras proved to be a very liberating experience and she decided to focus on this technique. Her career working with these devices reflects an important aspect of photographic history in Canada because it shows there are technically many ways to make images.

 

In the Artist's Own Words

My work challenges the view of photography as a way to ‘capture an instant in time.’ By using pinhole cameras and long exposure times I record, not an instant, but rather the passage of time at a site. Viewers have said that my work evokes the memory-image that remains for them long after they have viewed a familiar location. I think this recognizes the importance I have always assigned to time, memory, and capturing the essence of the place, in my images of architectural icons and classic travellers’ destinations.[1]

 
Dianne Bos, Venice Bifurcated, 2007

Dianne Bos, Venice Bifurcated, 2007, gelatin silver print, 99.8 x 99.2 cm, purchased in 2017, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. © Dianne Bos. Photo: NGC

 

[1] Dianne Bos, “Architecture and Interiors”, website: http://diannebos.ca/portfolio_interiors.html

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