Helios Taranteau at The Paint Cabin

Number two in a series of Buddhist-inspired meditational large and medium format still life's of flowers as they transition to death and other life stages- a self-portrait series. PHOTO: Chris McCallan

Danforth photographer Chris McCallan has teamed up with three fellow photographers, Harold Staats, Peter Young and Elizabeth Stanton, for Helios Taranteau, Vol. 1, a photographic exhibit with an intriguing, searching view.

McCallan, a commercial photographer by profession, says this show features images from his 40-year personal collection. “The difference between what I shoot commercially and what I shoot for myself is that the commercial work is always selling something: a product, an idea, a service. It doesn’t matter, even if it’s just an executive portrait … some kind of sale is at the heart of it,” he explained.”The message in commercial work is always about the client’s message. My personal work is about the search for spirit, for what begins life, animates life, permeates it and sustains it. It’s the extra thing beyond the simply visual and technical that is important to me.”

The work of his peers channels that same essence, and the choice of venue, The Paint Cabin, 723 Gerrard St. E, shares a similar welcoming style. McCallan said the show went from an idea to reality, thanks to a random, encouraging encounter with the workshop space owners and their dog, called Panda, aided by his 10-year friendship with Young.

The group put thought into the show’s name – “Helios Taranteau” – Helios, Greek for sun, expresses the need for light in their art, while Taranteau came from “our desire for a name that reflected the local nature of the artists, and also the archival, referential and historical value that photography can serve in our society,” he said. Linguistically, the name Toronto first appears on a map as ‘lac du Taranteau”, in reference to a body of water in southwest Ontario.

Helios Taranteau opens Thursday, May 18 at The Paint Cabin, with a reception from 6 to 11 p.m., and runs through June 8. Open for viewing Fridays from 6 p.m. to midnight, Saturdays from 1 p.m. to midnight, and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.

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