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Invitation: ELEMENTAL Photographic Exhibition

After more than 30 years of shooting and nearly 125,000 images, I’m pleased to announce the opening of my first solo exhibition. The invitation is below; I hope you have the opportunity to stop by.

For complete information on the exhibit, visit www.elementalphotographic.com 
Andrea Cordonier

Exhibition Overview

An interpretation of earth, water, fire, wind and void

Generally, I shoot what’s before me. Partly, that’s a reflection of my time not being my own for so many years. More often than not, I was shooting with kids in tow, who threatened to run onto the road or fall off cliffs, leaving only seconds to capture whatever had caught my eye. It honed my reflexes and made me hyper-aware of my surroundings.

At that time, the sheer amount of data being uploaded to my brain kept me from going mad and released the endorphin rush one would normally ascribe to a sustained period of “flow.” By design and necessity, flow manifested itself in minute and unpredictable packets of time. But limitations are not such a bad thing. They’ve made me a more responsive and intuitive shooter.

When I began sifting through myriad photographs to cull and sort and, finally, choose images that would form this first show, the theme quickly came to the fore. I was reading The Book of Five Rings by Musashi Miyamoto, a Buddhism-infused book by a 17th-century Samurai swordsman which spoke directly to the five elements of earth, water, wind, fire and void, a simple yet striking way to describe the natural forces that repeatedly presented themselves in my work.

We think we can conquer and subsume the natural world. We think we can somehow improve on it, create a more ordered existence. But we can’t. It’s already perfect beyond the shallow limits of our imagination. We have already been granted Paradise in every soil, rock, sky and native plants and trees, and in the sun and rain that have brought life and longevity to this planet. This has been absorbed by my brain and my bones, forever altering the way I see and think and feel. We are inseparable.

But even the most elemental of my photographic pieces have overtures of the human in them, implied if not overt. A distinctive narrative structure reveals itself through detail, bold composition, the use of light and shadow, careful juxtaposition, and select revelation. What is not seen is as critical as what is, demanding a second and third look.

In shaping the show, I’ve been mindful that ELEMENTAL is not a sweeping retrospective but the first public showing of a selection of my work. As such, I’ve focussed on two styles:

On the brick wall hangs a single series of large format colour landscapes entitled “Drive-By Shooting, Saskatchewan.”

The B&W narrative non-fiction are arranged opposite, combining a series (“Ferry Hair”) with individually framed, thematically-connected yet otherwise unrelated pieces.

I have to start somewhere. This is where I’ve chosen to begin. I’m delighted to have you along for the journey.

Andrea Cordonier
August, 2017

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About Andrea Cordonier

Andrea CordonierTo learn more:  www.andreacordonier.com

Andrea Cordonier is a general management consultant, writer, community leader and construction carpenter. She is Principal Consultant at Habicurious Group, Inc.

Andrea has worked with public, private and non-profit clients in a variety of sectors, including research, media and entertainment, luxury travel, energy, manufacturing, agriculture and defence. Her interest in community development, and preference for learning ‘from the ground up,’ prompted Andrea’s return to school and graduation with honours in Advanced Housing (Green Building & Construction Carpentry).

For more than twenty years she has held key roles and actively led initiatives covering the spectrum of grassroots community development: project and event management; fundraising; facilities management; community consultation and visioning; funding; governance; volunteer recruitment and retention; and communication and citizen engagement. As a mother of four, she is attuned to the educational, cultural and environmental needs of children and youth. With older parents, she has firsthand experience with the challenges of aging in place.

Andrea’s focus lies at the intersection of people, their homes and communities. She writes about that intersection – the nexus of shelter and social, physical, economic, cultural and environmental well-being – at Habicurious.com.

A Vancouver native, she currently resides in rural Ottawa.


A selection of clients:

Magellan Vacations
General Motors Canada/Performance Auto Group
The Conference Board of Canada
B.C. Hydro
B.C. Hydro International
Ministry of Agriculture
Department of Defence
B.C. Lions Football Club
Canada Wide Magazines


Volunteer Work:

Photographer, Workers History Museum (Team member, photographic cataloguing of the Domtar/E.B. Eddy buildings & site)

Founder & Coordinator, Jane’s Walk Burritt’s Rapids Community Festival

Burritt’s Rapids Community Association (Chair, Secretary, Member-at-Large, securing of funding opportunities, project management of facility upgrades, community facilitation,communication, promotion, media/government relations)

Founder & Chair, The Greening Project for Rideau 175 (Development and implementation of public gardens in Burritt’s Rapids in advance of the 175th anniversary of the Rideau Canal)

Events Chair (Fundraising dinners for maintenance of community-owned hall, management of arts events including concerts & theatre productions, seasonal events)


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