January 18 - February 17, 2018
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 18, 6:00–9:00pm
Coldstream Fine Art is pleased to present Pool Hoppers, a new show of work by Toronto photographer Mike Morris. Pool Hoppers sees the artist continuing to explore alternative or underexposed communities, developing fringe narratives through his signature candid photography, and the series is the culmination of three years of work in which the artist embedded himself within Toronto’s distinct subculture of summertime pool hoppers. With his insider perspective on the namesake group, often times joining in the revelry himself, Morris is able to capture stunning shots of what he considers a small piece of Eden: “beautiful people running around doing whatever they want, but far from anarchy.”
Morris’s committed process to develop his large, black and white photographs reflects the vulnerability of his subjects; physicality is in the work’s nature. The archival paper on which the photographs are printed is delicate, malleable and expensive, requiring careful handling and full involvement throughout the printing process to get the desired result—stark portraits of youth, community, fragility and happiness. From the moment at which the flash goes off until the photograph is framed, the work evolves from an ephemeral object into a vessel for memory and narrative.
Participation is key to the artist’s method, shown both in his dedication to manually developing each photograph by hand and his personal involvement in the events he photographs. This series, however, is more than a view through his eyes. It is a perspective on the formation of a community, on vulnerabilities to be shared enthusiastically and on the thrill of authentic experience. Most importantly, it is a reminder that the opportunity to be a part of something is always in front of us, even if it involves breaking a few rules.