Press Release

Desert in Time
March 23 - April 15, 2006
Artist reception: Thursday March 23, 6 – 8 pm
Book signing: Saturday March 25, 2-4 pm

The Diane Farris Gallery is pleased to announce Roberta Bondar’s eagerly anticipated second solo exhibition, Desert in Time. The exhibit shows desert photographs from around the world – from the Arctic in the far north to the American southwest, from Mojave Desert in California to Libya and Egypt.

Roberta Bondar (right) with her Tuareg guide at the Tadrart Acacus UNESCO World Heritage Site (2003). After a two-hour drive over a lava rock bed in the Great Sand Sea of Ubari, this photo was taken in front of the famous rock paintings. For more information about Dr. Bondar's expedition, see Globe & Mail.

As an astronaut aboard the space shuttle Discovery, Roberta Bondar saw the vast deserts of Earth from space in 1992 and never forgot them.

These images, many of which were shown in Ancient Ruins and Desert Dunes at London’s prestigious Hoopers Gallery last year, were among the first taken in the area when Canada established diplomatic relations with Libya in 2002. The exhibit includes images of the Great Sand Seas of Ubari in Libya; the eroded rock formations of the Acacus with their prehistoric drawings; and the ruins of ancient Roman cities Sabratha and Leptis Magna.

Bondar works in a number of photographic traditions. She has the viewpoint of an explorer who is among the first to document remote geographic regions. She has the eye of a scientist for recording transient geological conditions, as well as the most sophisticated camera equipment and printing processes. Yet she approaches the wild landscape with a poetic soul, and captures it with a lush sense of colour and atmosphere. Her images are as memorable for what they reveal as for what they don’t: a sense of infinite mystery that extends far beyond the camera lens.

Accompanying the exhibit is Bondar’s new catalogue, The Arid Edge of Earth (2006). The 90-page publication showcases the images in the exhibit as well as many others, both black-and-white and colour. Bondar has captioned each photograph with location information and anecdotes of her experiences.

Roberta Bondar is the first Canadian woman to have flown in space. Among her numerous commendations, she has been honored as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame for her pioneering research in space medicine; and recognized with the Order of Canada and the NASA Space Medal. She holds five degrees and has received 24 honorary doctorates from universities in Canada and the United States. Her photographs have been exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON; Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, ON; Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON; Hoopers Gallery, London, UK; Markham Museum, Markham, ON; Greenwich Interpretive Centre, Greenwich, PEI; Moncton Public Museum, Moncton, NB; and the Regional Art & Historical Museum, London, ON. Her publications include Canada: Landscape Of Dreams (2002) and Passionate Vision: Discovering Canada’s National Parks (2000).


Acacus Rock in Dunes Southwest Libyan Desert, 2003

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