People in Place: Environmental Portraits from the Mira Godard Study Centre

Ryerson University


Simply defined, an environmental portrait is an image of a person in a place. How this subject interacts with this place, whether it be a home, workplace or public space, and how the photographer interacts with both the place and the sitter, are elements that charge this definition and define the experience for us as viewers.

One of the larger issues is the relative truthfulness of the environmental portrait. Is the subject’s awareness of being photographed central to the photograph’s truthfulness, and are candid portraits inherently more authentic than posed ones? Does having the photographer, environment, or sitter dominate in the creation of the photograph add to or detract from the perceived truth of the image? What is the viewer’s role and contribution to the understanding of an environmental portrait? The twenty-five photographs in this exhibition encourage the exploration of these questions.

Curated by students in the 'Curation and Preservation' course, School of Image Arts.