The exhibition launched on Feb. 3 at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to a packed crowd of nearly 400 people, including Holownia’s former students and colleagues from across the country, and many members of the Mount Allison community, past and present.
Holownia says the response he received was overwhelming.
“It’s a raw thing to put yourself out there like that,” he says. “That’s me, that’s my life.”
After two years of work on this project, Fillmore says the launch of the exhibition was a special night for all involved.
“The response Thaddeus received was like a rock star leaving the stage,” she says. “It was so wonderful and well deserved. What he had that night was something everyone deserves, which is to see how his work has left an imprint. It has helped to introduce his work, but also to gratify the dedication of his life to what is often solitary work and see how it resonates and impacts a bigger community.”
Although Holownia says this is the biggest exhibition he will probably ever do, Fillmore believes this is just another act in his career.
“Thaddeus’s work has only gotten richer over the years and more chancy,” she says. “He is willing to engage with and confront the viewer and himself. He looks at the hard things in the world and the beauty, which are often the same. I hope this is just another affirmation for him and starts a whole new conversation about his work.”
The Nature of Nature: The photographs of Thaddeus Holownia 1976-2016 will be showcased at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia until May 28, 2017. A book of the work will also be available.