Photo exhibit opens at Royal Bank Plaza

Photo of  71-year-old Jacqueline Tarne doing a ballet pose. The photo is displayed in the lobby of Royal Bank Plaza. An initiative by Photosensitive to bring awareness on the subject of aging Canadians.
Photo of 71-year-old Jacqueline Tarne doing a ballet pose. The photo is displayed in the lobby of Royal Bank Plaza. An initiative by Photosensitive to bring awareness on the subject of aging Canadians. Photo taken by Peter Marlin. (IMG_3888)
Husband Lex takes care of his wife Mary, who is diagnosed with dementia. Photo taken by Marta Iwanek.
Husband Lex takes care of his wife Mary, who is diagnosed with dementia. Photo taken by Marta Iwanek.Photos of aging Canadians along with their names and brief stories, are being displayed in the front lobby of Royal Bank Plaza, on 200 Bay St. (IMG_3872)

This project is an initiative by Photosensitive, which started Sept. 17 and will last for a two month period.

Shiela Tracei stopped to examine the billboards as she walked by.

“I think this is an excellent presentation, I am really enjoying it. The photos bring back sentimentalism with my own family,” Tracei said.

Tracei was particularly moved by a photo of a 71-year old lady named Jacqueline Tarne, who was photographed doing a ballet pose.

Jacqueline Tarne started ballet as a child. She wanted to be a professional dancer but then gave up, thinking she was not good enough. Years went by and her passion for ballet was reignited after 65. She then decided to join Canada’s National Ballet School.

“I like that she didn’t give up on her dream and I always wanted to be a dancer too, so I can relate to that,” Tracei said.

But not all the stories were had happy endings.

The story of Lex and Mary maybe a troubling one to Canadians. In the photograph Lex is taking care of his wife Mary while she sits in her wheel chair. Mary was diagnosed with dementia in 2008. The description related to this photo read as follows: “Currently 750,000 Canadians are diagnosed with cognitive impairment including dementia, but that number is expected to double by 2031, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada”.

This is not the first time Photosensitive decides to tackle a subject through photography. The group has initiated many projects before on topics such as HIV, AIDS and poverty. According to its website www.photosensitive.com, photosensitive is a “non-profit collective of photographers determined to explore how photography can contribute to social justice”.

Photosensitive has been around for almost 25 years.

“We hope to educate the public, that’s our main goal,” said Photographer and Coordinator of Photosensitive, Brynn Campbell. “Knowledge is power, and people will think more on a visual level.”

Campbell explained that by 2051 one in four Canadians will be over the age of 65.

“This pretty much re-examines what it means to age. It doesn’t always necessarily mean retirement and cruise. There are people living on basic paid cheques, or working, or running marathons,” said Campbell.

She was happy this current project was attracting people from different generations.