Prince and Stars, from Le Petit Prince for National Ballet of Canada
Last summer, Barbara Cole was tasked with capturing the magic of Le Petit Prince in the way she knows best: through her underwater camera lens. To express in an image the enduring charm of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s universally adored novella—a seeming impossibility—was for the Toronto artist a challenge met with energy and enthusiasm. Alongside the celebrated set and costume designer Michael Levine, dancer and choreographer Guillaume Côté, and with First Soloists Tanya Howard and Dylan Tedaldi, Cole plunged underwater to create images characteristic of her signature, ethereal photographic style. Dancers glided, dived, dipped and floated up through their water stage, finding their characters through explorative movement. The shoot quickly became an exercise in letting go--of the predictable physics so essential to dance, of ordinary orientation and perspective, of reality itself as it gave way to the dreamy, gravity-defying world of Le Petit Prince.
Cole is known for her sleek, plexiglass presentation style, which enhances the weightlessness of her underwater imagery. The artist's archival fine art photographs are face-mounted with plexiglass and have a slim, 0.25 inch profile. A hidden aluminum channel on the back offers easy installation and a contemporary, frameless presentation.