Part studio portrait, part collaboration, Martha Davis empowers senior citizens to fulfill their longings virtually, using the magic of green screen photography. Her photographs lie at the intersection of the formal and the familial, the public and the private realm. These funny, poignant portraits of seniors “living their dreams” express deep longing: to accomplish what they have not yet and are no longer able to accomplish, or to revisit an event/situation/place of importance from their past.
In addition to their families and friends, the seniors delighted in sharing their dream adventures with each other through the digital screens in the facilities and in the calendars that Davis created. In this way, Davis was able to foster a new sense of community in each home at which she worked. In one of the homes, Personal Support Workers and Therapy Dog handlers also joined in the photo shoot. Davis decided to include two photos of them here as a nod to their essential role in this extraordinary time of the pandemic.
To date, Davis has run her DREAM SCENES program in seven different Seniors’ residences and Long Term Care homes and over 400 participants have stepped on to her green screen. She hopes to continue with this fulfilling work when the pandemic is over. 92 is the new 29! To comment on the exhibit, please write to Martha Davis at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us at the Virtual Opening Night Reception on May 4 from 7-8pm to view some of her work and to speak to the artist herself!
About the Artist
Martha Davis is a self-taught photographer, independent filmmaker, children’s author and activist based in Toronto. She obtained her BA from the University of Toronto in Film and Drama in 1981 and her BEd in 1990. She had a career in elementary teaching with the TDSB, retiring in 2017, and has been volunteering with seniors since then as a therapy dog handler. Davis has been creating still and moving images for over forty years. She has exhibited her photographs in galleries and artist-run centres throughout Canada. Her films have been screened nationally and internationally, and two of her shorts were nominated for Genies. Her feature film “PATH” and her most well-known short, “Reading between the Lines” are available for streaming at vucavu.com. Her children’s books are illustrated using green screen photography and have won awards from the Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario. Davis is now actively involved in climate-related issues with Leadnow.
The Virtual Gallery @ the J is a digital home for creativity that educates, entertains and expresses shared experiences of humanity. If you have questions or would like to purchase any of the artwork, please contact Deanna Di Lello, Coordinator of Adult Art and Culture.
Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival
Virtual – access anytime
Virtual Gallery at the J