Nicolas Teichrob’s Spun Spectra runs at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery from October 5 to 29. The 33-year -old photographer and filmmaker spent two years shooting the way light refracts off spider webs. “I seek to share and expand other people’s spatial and temporal engagements,” says Teichrob of his art. “Spun Spectra is a good manifestation of that because [the webs are] something a little bit smaller than our average human interaction scale.” Much of Teichrob’s work, both in still and moving images, has to do with the expanse of nature—oceans, mountains and forests. Experimenting with macro photography was something Teichrob found “therapeutic.” “I was really interested in light, white light in particular and understanding that white light from the sun is all the colours. I was chasing rainbow or spectra happenings in nature.” Shooting randomly in his Roberts Creek yard one day, he took photos of spider webs and started to see spectra patterns in them. “They are so amazing and beautiful,” he says, noting that he couldn’t find any research in science or art that had documented this occurrence. “I feel a responsibility to make sure this gets shared,” he says.
Teichrob, a self-taught photographer, credits his training as a hydrologist and geologist for how he views and understands the world. “I like that I don’t have any formal training [as a photographer] because I don’t have any preconceived ideas of what things are supposed to be,” he says. But an awareness of the patterns found in nature and the rigours of the scientific method helped him develop his eye as a photographer and his appreciation of the power and intricacies of nature. In order to reproduce, as closely as possible, how he saw the spider webs in nature, he created special back-illuminated frames for his images. Using cedar sourced on the Coast, the frames are four inches deep to accommodate lighting uniquely positioned for each individual photograph. Though he uses a digital camera, the photos have the look of film. “It’s a digital capture but it’s exposed through a chemical process on a transparency,” he explains. “There are no camera tricks.” The result is a unique image from an unusual perspective that is individually back lit. He also reproduced them at a scale larger than human, approximately 24 x 40 inches. “By making the images huge, I think it maximizes their impact,” he says. “The spiders are really the artists.”
Spun Spectra by Nicolas Teichrob runs at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery October 5 to 22 with Me Thinks I Should Know by local textile artist Jennifer Love in the Eve Smart Gallery. Opening reception Saturday, October 7, 2-4pm. Artists in attendance. Admission is free and all are welcome.