NATALIE SCHONFELD on view at Nathan Schiff Gallery (1252 Danforth) until June 2. 416-463-8957. Rating: NNNN; works by NATALIE SCHONFELD also on view at Davis Green Gallery (2844 Dundas West, 416-762-7278, ext 227) and at D-Max (400 Eastern, 416-463-9777) to May 31, and in Speechless at the NOW Lounge (189 Church, 416-364-1301) Wednesday (May 16). Rating: NNNN
a solo show, a two-person exhibit and pieces in two additional group outings -- few photographers have as much happening in CONTACT 01 as Natalie Schönfeld.
Still, there's no question that the body of work with the most resonance for this Venezuelan-born, Toronto-based photojournalist is her documentary series on deaf-blind individuals.
Perceptions Of Light depicts strength, not pathos. The work grew out of Schönfeld's own experience of coming to Canada as a 17-year-old Spanish-speaking immigrant desperate to learn how to communicate with those around her. Her empathy for and admiration of her subjects comes through in every image.
Schönfeld has been working on the series since doing her photo arts thesis show for Ryerson Polytechnic University in 97. Since then, she's learned to communicate using two-hand manual and is also learning to sign, because, she laughs, "It's important for me to portray moments that are shared."
Now she's furiously trying to raise funds to take this project across Canada. It deserves to go far.