Adrienne Herron

Article written for The Low Down
June 15, 2005
published in Artists of the Gatineau Hills, 2007

Adrienne Herron, Coming Full Circle

Adrienne Herron lives in the quiet where she photographs the ever-changing mysteries of Nature. Surrounded by the serene shade gardens she has created, she finds the solitude to see into the life of things – the way a leaf turns, the blur of detail when the camera moves to encompass a stand of trees or to evoke an impressionist painting of the subtlest colours.

She frequently visits a neighbouring orchard that has become for her a sanctuary of light and shadow. Under the pressure of expanding development, it may soon be lost but not before she has honoured its delicate presence. “I want to capture not only the beauty, power and grace of trees, but their intense and imminent vulnerability.”

Adrienne received her first camera, a baby Brownie, for Christmas the year she turned 8. The family had just moved from Toronto to Montreal after her father, an American photographer, returned to the States. She would not see him again for thirty years. And yet his influence would help to shape her own destiny as an artist – a passion for photography that has never left her.

“It is my lifeline to who I really am. You can lose your connection to life without creativity. It feeds your soul. I love being in the woods – they are magical. Photography allows me to look more closely, to realize the symbiotic relationship we have with trees, with all of Nature. It’s a metaphor for how we stay alive.”

Throughout a long career in marketing, training and sales for QL Systems – an information retrieval service for lawyers called QUICKLAW – Adrienne pursued her photography studies at Algonquin, Carleton, and at workshops across the States and Canada, culminating in a BFA from Ottawa University in 2001. She has exhibited widely, both in solo and group exhibitions throughout the region. Known for her inspired photography and art programs in Giverny, France (1996-1999), Adrienne taught photography for over ten years and created the “Image Bank” for the Gatineau Valley Historical Society.

There is a circle here in the path she has taken. Reconnecting with her father, as an adult, brought the riches of his experience into her life. She would send him photographs and he would critique them, sharing his secret formulas, challenging her to push further. Following in his footsteps anchored her passion, brought her heritage home.

And so too the work itself has carried her full circle. Just as the invention of photography usurped the province of painting, forcing painters to differentiate, away from Realism into Impressionism, now Adrienne is experimenting with the reverse crossover. “I want to do what the camera shouldn’t be able to do – to move away from harsh reality, from detail, into a more minimalist, painterly effect.”

Camera movement fascinates her – capturing the spirit of place. “I follow. I don’t direct. The not knowing is the adventure. It’s like a spiritual quest. My photographs are a series of epiphanies – I don’t want to miss anything.”

Adrienne Herron Mystical Birches Photograph

Adrienne Herron
Transient Forest Series, 9482e