Last Friday marked the opening of my Exposure Festival exhibition at Verns in Calgary, my first time in a solo show. It's a large collection of photos I've taken at punk gigs over the last few years of the musicians, fans and venue owners. The opening night went fantastic with performances by Evan Symons, Franky Frog Liquor, Nevertime High and the Bloody Hells. We had close to 160 people come through the door over the course of the evening and I've been told that people have been trickling in ever since then. The majority of viewers are members of the music community and they have given me some wonderful feedback, stating the photos are definitely a nostalgic trip for them as I had hoped they would be. As always, but perhaps now more than ever, I am extremely grateful for their continued support. So to those of you who came to the opening or even just stopped by on your way to another show - thank you.
The space- our beloved basement venue, has hosted bands, burlesque troops, poets and even the occasional theatre troop, over the course of it's existence. I played my very first show ever with The Rigormorticians on it's weathered stage. While perfect for the content of the photos, it wasn't exactly ideal for a photo show with comically uneven walls (dart boards) and poor lighting. After several failed attempts to hang some large pieces of foam core (4 ft x 4 ft) from the ceiling, I eventually had to concede defeat and by the end of day 2 after receiving yet another message from a friend informing me that the display was all over the floor, I resorted to an emergency plan and used a bit of spare lumber to prop the displays up. It's not the prettiest looking way of holding photos up, and there's more duct tape behind those white boards than I care to admit, but I just keep telling myself that it all adds to the Do It Yourself punk attitude and authenticity of the display.
Despite all this, my new friend Martin Aak still had this to say:
"If you're downtown in the next few days, I recommend that you take some time to visit Verns Bar on 8th Ave across from the Globe Cinema to view this exhibition by photographer Llisa Bastard. She's done excellent work here to document musicians in Calgary, many in live performance! Her ability to use existing light and approach to composition to capture the "live" action is outstanding!"
To round off your visit, Vern's has Calgary's Village Brewery on tap and they buy their produce fresh at the Farmer's Market, so it would make a good lunch destination I would suggest to you"
(I can put that here without feeling like a self involved asshole because I'm not the one who wrote it)
So swing by Verns (622 8 Ave SW Calgary) and check it out if you get the chance, let me know what you think, and please - don't look behind the boards.