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Barbara Cole, 1953 | Abstract / Fine Art photographer

While we're completely blown away when we see paintings that look like pictures, we're even more excited when we come across pictures that look like paintings! Such is this set, called Painted Ladies, by Barbara Cole, Canadian🎨 photographer. The self-taught photographer not only challenges our reality, she does it all using Polaroid film!
"I fell in love with Polaroid film sometime late in 1987", Cole says. - I had been experimenting with the Polaroid Spectra camera and Tungsten light and I loved the mood that its warm colors and creamy palette evoked. In the end, however, it proved too difficult to work within the limitations of this simple point and shoot camera and I abandoned it.

In late 1993, I happened upon a wonderful painting by Lucien Freud. It was of a heavyset man, seated on the floor, pictured from behind. I had a strong and immediate connection to its simplicity of line and quality of light.
The image began to haunt me. It seemed to cross the line between painting and photography. I began to re-examine my approach to figurative portraiture. A friend at Polaroid had given me an SX-70 camera some years earlier.
Having seen Freud's painting, I re-considered its possibilities. After some exploration, I found someone who was able to adapt the SX-70 camera to work with my studio lighting and techniques.
Then, I carefully manipulated the surface image to add dimension and introduce a painterly quality I loved. Alas, Polaroid - the company, the film, the cameras are out of business. I'm so grateful I was able to experience the Polaroid magic it when I could!"

Recent awards🎨 and public installations
  • 2017 - London International Creative Competition, Honorable Mention, Falling Through Time Series;
  • 2017 - International Color Awards, Nomination, Kew at Night, Fashion; Nomination, Falling Through Time, Fine Art;
  • 2017 - Tokyo International Foto Awards, Honorable Mention, Fine Art, Figure Painting;
  • 2017 - International Photography Awards, (IPA) Honorable Mention Fine Art, Falling Through Time;
  • 2017 - International Colour Awards, Honorable Mention, Other, Falling Through Time; Honorable Mention, Moving Images for Forget-Me-Not Lenticular;
  • 2016 - Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3), People's Choice and 3rd Prize, Le Petit Prince;
  • 2016 - International Colour Awards, Honorable Mention, Conceptual Photography, Le Petit Prince;
  • 2014 - PRIX DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE PARIS (PX3), third prize, Duplicity;
  • 2013 - London International Creative Competition, Short List, Duplicity;
  • 2012 - International Photography Awards, Barbara Cole Monograph, Honorable Mention, NewYork;
  • 2011 - Photography Masters Cup, International Color Awards, Honorable Mention, AbstractArt: Chromatics, Three by Four Nominee, Abstract Art: Chromatics, Red Stain;
  • 2010 - Ontario Arts Council, Mid-Career Visual Arts Grant;
  • 2009 - Third Prize, International Photography Awards, New York, USA;
  • 2008 - Grand Prize, le 6ème Festival International de la Photographie de Mode, Cannes, France;
  • 2008 - Large-scale artwork installation: Drifter Triptych, at Trump Hollywood, Florida, USA;
  • 2007 - Commission, M. Lau Breast Cancer Centre, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto, Canada;
  • 2006 - Large-scale artwork installation and book created, Miami ONE, Florida, USA;
  • 1997vToronto Series, Manulife Building, Toronto, Canada.