Mount Forest photo artist showcased at Dufferin gallery

By Patrick Raftis in Arts & Music, People
The work of artists/photographer Cliff Smith is currently on display at the Dufferin County Museum and Archives. Patrick Raftis photo

The work of artists/photographer Cliff Smith is currently on display at the Dufferin County Museum and Archives.
Patrick Raftis photo

 

The work of a Mount Forest artist/photographer, currently on display at the Dufferin County Museum and Archives, offers viewers a fresh perspective on the unique beauty of the surrounding region.
The raw materials for the show, titled Work in Progress are culled from the local landscape.
“These are not mountain vistas or ocean panoramas,” says Cliff Smith. “They are everyday scenes that we miss in our ritual of rushing around doing our
general duties.”
Images in Smith’s show include a fall scene featuring a golden field beneath a deep open sky that initially makes the viewer think “prairies,” but actually came from the Listowel area. Another photograph from the Luther Marsh turns an ordinary fencepost in the focal point of a spectacular natural light show.
Smith wants people to not only view the images, but to study, even question them.
“My main goal is to have people look at the piece and want to interact with it.”
The show also features works that Smith refers to as “Alterscapes,” digital mixed media creations using photographic images and computer software to reach his vision. Such images involve “creating in the mind, then translating that masterpiece to a two-dimensional image,” he explains.
Smith moved to Mount Forest about a year ago, after living in Dufferin County for the preceding 18 years. Born in Port Credit, Ontario, he attended the Ontario College of Art. After graduating, he turned to design work and spent 30 years working for some of the largest international design studios. In 2008, he decided to change direction and focus more on creations of his own vision.
“I found I was always visualizing things for other directors,” he notes.
There is an element of environmentalism in Smith’s current work. Many of the scenes he now creates resemble natural places he enjoyed as a youth, many of which have been paved over or built on over the years.
“Places I played in Port Credit were like these scenes, and now they are almost all gone.”
Work in Progress continues at the Dufferin County Museum and Archives until March 5.
To view more of Smith’s work, go to www.cliffphotographic.com.