Time Telling

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32 Frames from Tobin Street
photography, photograph, light, time, perception, time-lapse, silver print, urban landscape, change, effects of time passing, silver prints, series, artistic medium, mood, traditional camera light,repetition,Tobin Street, time-lapse photography,

Tobin Street

In 32 Frames from Tobin Street, Lattices of Light, from the MacKenzie Art Gallery collection, Kiyooka illustrates through 32 photographic images how the passage of time can change our perception of things. The  seriesA number of things or events standing or succeeding in order, and connected by a like relation; sequence; order; course; a succession of things; as, a continuous series of calamitous events. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  of 32 silver prints shows a progression from dark to light and back to dark again, of a window frame, perhaps taken on Tobin Street in Halifax, Nova Scotia, an area where many old, historic buildings are located. 

By taking photographs of the same  subjectA topic or idea represented in an art work.  at 32 different times during a day, and aligning them in rows, Kiyooka achieves a time-lapse effect that encourages us to ponder the effects of time passing, and how we ourselves are changed over time.

additional resources Things to Think About
  • What things remind you of the passage of time? How could you represent those things visually?
Advanced Activity

Science link

If there is no light, there is no colour. Some  contemporaryCurrent, belonging to the same period of time. Usually referring to our present time, but can refer to being current with any specified time. (Artlex.com)  artists are interested in exploring the properties of light and the absence of light.  Check out the website below for some interesting activities on “drawing with light”.

Advanced Activity

The following links include specialized lessons on photography, including  digitalA system of representing images or objects through numbers. These numbers can then be re-interpreted by another digital system to generate light and sound.  photography for students wanting to try specialized effects.


Links to the use of light in painting

  • Impressionist artists studied light. They were interested in how light affected colour, at the same time as photography was being developed and becoming popular. Impressionism, Lesson 3:  Use of Light:  http://www.suite101.com/lesson.cfm/16928/337
Online Activity
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In his work, Kiyooka uses multiple photographs to show gradual changes in light and time of day. The following site from the Science Museum of Minnesota includes several examples of time lapses in photography. You can watch a scene sequence and change in seconds, minutes or months, through use of technology.


Studio Activity

Kiyooka documents gradual changes in time through photography. When 32 Frames from Tobin Street, Lattices of Light was made in 1977, artists did not have  digitalA system of representing images or objects through numbers. These numbers can then be re-interpreted by another digital system to generate light and sound.  cameras or all the sophisticated computer technology that is available now. Photographic-based art was made with a traditional camera, and required patience and time to obtain the perfect shot for the amount of light in the picture.

Make some studies yourself to discover how light affects the way we see things.

  • how light appears to change shapes,
  • how colours change as the light changes,
  • how mood changes as light fades or increases.
  • Take two pictures of a chosen indoor subject, one in natural light and one in artificial lighting (florescent if possible). What are the differences? Which do you like best and why?

Author unknown.  Roy Kiyooka: 1971-The Penultimate Year-Cedar Laminated Sculpture-Paintings-Prints.  Exhibition announcement.  Triangle Gallery of Visual Arts, Calgary, Alberta, 2001.  Retrieved from the Internet on March 27, 2008 from:  http://www.trianglegallery.com/exhibits/roykiyooka/index.html

Greenaway, John Endo.  ‘Remembering Roy Kiyooka.’  The Bulletin, January 8, 2001.  Retrieved from the Internet on March 27, 2008 from:  http://jccabulletin-geppo.ca/?p=6

Newlands, Anne.  Canadian Art from its Beginnings to 2000.  Willowdale, Ontario:  Firefly Books, 2000.

Reid, Dennis.  A Concise History of Canadian Painting, 2nd Edition.  Toronto:  Oxford University Press Canada, 1988.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning