Once again Studio Connexion Gallery was packed as residents of Nakusp and New Denver crammed in to see the work of artist Patrizia Menton.
Born in Italy, Menton grew up in Italy and Germany before moving to Canada in her 20s. In the 1980s, she discovered her passion for photography, and studied photography and printmaking in Vancouver.
Most of the photos of the exhibit are still life, and were taken in either France or Italy. Their arrangement in the gallery is interesting. Entering Studio Connexion, all of the photos are in colour, but as you move inside, the colours of the photos seem to fade until you reach the west wall, which has six black and white photos hanging up.
The colour photographs were done using a method called cibachrome, which is starting from a slide, and going directly from a slide to a print.
“It’s a special process to do, you needed special paper, special chemicals,” said Menton. “Even way back when I was doing that, it was a special process, it wasn’t very common, and I enjoyed doing that for many years.”
Unfortunately as most photo companies in Canada have moved from the analogue format to digital, older methods of developing photos have gone to the wayside.
Menton isn’t able to develop colour photos anymore.
“About six or seven years ago I stopped doing that because the companies went out of business, and they wouldn’t supply people like me who just needed small quantities,” she said. “I started to take my negatives and my slides to Italy, where they still do analogue. They go from a negative to paper without digitizing it.”
While Menton admits that she does in fact own a digital printer and professional scanner, and makes beautiful prints in the digital way, she still likes using film.
Many of those at the reception appreciate this fact.
“Her photography is really spectacular, but what I really like is the stories behind the different kind of prints,” said Ulrike Zobel. “I like understanding the process behind the different kinds of prints.”
Zobel’s daughter, Jennifer Cross, is also a fan of Menton.
“For me, this is a little taste of Europe, and it embraces the feeling of Europe,” she said. I love being in that little gallery, surrounded by all her photography, it just feels so nice.”
This isn’t the first time Menton has shown at Studio Connexion.
Her first solo showing at the studio was in 2012.
Anne Beliveau, owner and operator of Studio Connexion has known Menton for a number of years.
Beliveau thinks Menton has a very good eye when it comes to photography.
“The fact that she loves architecture and details is something that is appealing to me,” she said. “To me, it does show that she is a trained photographer, that she went to school for that.”
Beliveau finds there are some cameras out there that seem do the work for the photographer. She thinks Menton works at it to get the look that she wants, and has a very keen eye, very artistic eye.”
“There are a lot of good photographers, but to me, she is one of my favourites.”
Menton’s work will be shown at Studio Connexion until Sept. 30.