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A photo showing a rocky mountain with multiple trees at the top, along with a grey sky looming above.

Light in the Land: The Nature of Canada

Light in the Land: The Nature of Canada features photographs by scientist and environmental interpreter Dr. Roberta Bondar, exploring varied Canadian landscapes as well as their biodiversity and sustainability. Presented in 2017 to mark the 25th anniversary of the astronaut and photographer’s space mission, the exhibition of the University of Guelph alumna’s work captures that critical moment of inspiration: “My view from the spacecraft Discovery 25 years ago forever changed my view of Earth, and it was on that flight that I committed to protect this magnificent planet.”

Reflecting a fusion of artistic and scientific vision informed by her unique expertise as a professional photographer, researcher, astronaut, medical doctor and neurologist, the exhibition explores varied aspects of the distinctive and significant landscape that is Canada. From the Gros Morne Mantle to the Mingan Monoliths, her images approach landscape visualization with a sense of awe, respect, and understanding of the nation’s dramatic climatic and geological diversity.

Image detail: Dr. Roberta Bondar, Pink Granite, 2013, digital C-print, 54 x 18 inches


Organized by The Roberta Bondar Foundation with the support of Ontario150 and the Power Corporation of Canada, this exhibition is presented at the Art Gallery of Guelph through the support of the University of Guelph.

About the artist

Dr. Roberta Bondar

In her careers as scientist and physician, Dr. Roberta Bondar developed new techniques for colour and black and white photography using both fluorescence and electron microscopy. A neurologist, Dr. Bondar sub-specialized in neuro-ophthalmology – how we see and view the world around us. Influenced by the wide horizons that she viewed out of the spacecraft window, she has used medium and large format cameras to document natural landscapes from the ground, capturing a planet in evolution.

In 1997, Bondar was featured in the National Gallery of Canada exhibition Beauty of Another Order ~ Photography in Science. For three years, Dr. Bondar also photographed Canada’s National Parks producing the book Passionate Vision ~ Discovering Canada’s National Parks, as well as an exhibition of large photographs that has been displayed at venues such as the Canadian Museum of Nature and The Royal Ontario Museum.

She has continued to produce photo-based publications and exhibitions that have addressed Canadian landscapes including the Arctic, as well as the American Southwest and other major deserts of the world. Dr. Bondar’s photographic prints have been exhibited by The Loch Gallery, Toronto, Calgary and Winnipeg, The Art Gallery of Algoma, Sault Ste. Marie, and Hoopers Gallery, London, UK. Her works can be found in private, corporate and institutional collections in Canada, the USA, and England.

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