Lorette C. Luzajic – Five Photographs
Artist’s Statement on Beauty
Never lose sight of home.
This is part of what’s behind my near obsession as a collage artist with hoarding imagery.
Yes, the grass is always greener, and yes, curiosity should take us away. As far away as we can go, and as often.
But to me it makes sense that I should be most engaged with the environment I call home. Constantly renewing our attention to our surroundings deepens our most intimate relationship with place.
Toronto has a bit of a reputation for being a nice little big city, the consolation prize of cities if you happened to be Canadian and your country isn’t old enough to have a proper city of at least five million. Its stodgy, safe, and sleeps early, with a paltry selection of galleries compared to anywhere else.
Okay, fine. We are most certainly the New York of the future, growing at breakneck speed, but it’s true we are not yet even 200 years old. We’re not Istanbul or Jerusalem, with layers of twenty or thirty or forty centuries. And yes, we are a bit stuffy and very safe, a city of daytime more than nightlife, but this is a positive thing. Toronto is my lifeline, my longterm relationship, a rare source of security in my life. It is steadfast and faithful even as it charges into the future. Even as it changes quickly, it doesn’t leave us behind. We change with it, knowing our foundation is rock and not sand.
But the most frequent slam I hear on Toronto, from bored locals and country mice outsiders alike, is that we’re a bleak grey monolith of concrete and smog.
With my photography, I dissent from this absurd assertion by documenting the beauty and colour that saturates my city. We are a veritable tapestry of cultures: you would be hard-pressed anywhere in the world to encounter the variety of people, traditions, languages, faith and foods that we see every day in Toronto. We have celebrations, festivals, parades, arts, cuisines, and cultural enclaves to experience every single day of the year, from every continent and reach of the planet.
But my photography tells another story, too. That beauty is everywhere, truly, even if all you’ve got is eternal rain on concrete walls. I am gently coaxing you to open your eyes and take a look around. There is enough detail and texture and variegation where you are, right there, even if you never leave the room.