This week is the launch of a unique exhibit in Calgary, called THE STIMULANT. THE STIMULANT showcases black and white photography that uses the Verdant Luminul (VL) – also known as “the stimulant” – environmental development and printing process. The VL process a new approach to photo development, where they introduce a dry darkroom procedure, utilizing light safe tubes, along with environmentally responsible, less toxic ingredients.
The collaboration for the exhibit started when Francis A. Willey, an internationally published and exhibited photographer, piano composer and poet, who in 2006 exhibited his works at Bruce Hildeshiem’s Recording Studio ‘The Shot Gun Shack.’ Hildesheim – Dark Classical – is a graduate from Juilliard, and is a tremendously accomplished musician, composer and sound engineer. He then first saw ‘Remembering Kiki and Blindness’ which are works by Willey, that will be further exhibited at THE STIMULANT. This meeting of the minds was a point of inspiration for both and encouraged Hildesheim to pick up the camera and master the art of photography.
As their friendship built, and as Hildeshiem built his darkroom, the toxicity of the traditional chemistry proved to be too harmful and toxic for Hildesheim to continue working in. After much research, experimenting and persistence the early work for THE STIMULANT Began. Sanja Lukač, Director of SEITIES, is a photographer, curator and designer and was then a student at The Alberta College of Art and Design studying photography. Lukač first met Hildesheim through Willey and shared the common social concerns, and passion for traditional photography. As a team they used the process together and refined it’s capabilities. THE STIMULANT exhibition features the darkroom prints created over the time period of the trio coming together.
THE STIMULANT runs from November 22 to December 21 at SEITIES GALLERY in Art Central (202, 100 – 7 Avenue SW).