Valerie Cargo

Contact Name
Valerie Cargo
Contact Title

Valerie is a fine art photographer and artist. Before her passion for photography was awakened she travelled the world as a Flight Attendant with Canadian Airlines. When a back injury grounded her she at age thirty seven she returned to school taking Media at Humber College, Toronto. There she immersed herself in photography, television production and anything media winning the Polaroid Award for photography and the Presidents Award. After successfully completing college she was hired by the Etobicoke Board of Education (Toronto) as a Media Specialist honing her new found skills.

Twenty years ago after a vehicle accident ended her media career, her husband retired and they moved from the Toronto area to Kincardine on beautiful Lake Huron to enjoy small town living. The beauty and mystery of the lake and it's surrounding area never ceases to inspire her. Her striking landscapes capture the solitary and often barren mood of her fall and winter images. This of course changed when her fascination turned to Cyanotypes and Lumens. Now summer with every ray of sunshine is the treasured season. Valerie is truly a women for all seasons.

Locally her work is shown at the Southampton Arts Centre where she also serves on the Board of Directors. Her first solo show was at the Roxy Theatre in Owen Sound and then the Durham Art Gallery in 2016. She has shown repeatedly in many juried shows including the the Tom Thomson Gallery, ON, Canada. Internationally her work has travelled to the Soho Gallery, NY, Photographic Society, Texas, A. Smith Gallery, Texas, PhotoPlace Gallery, Vermont, Perfect Exposure Gallery, Los Angeles, Centre for Fine Art Photography, Colorado, Darkroom Gallery, Vermont and Rfoto.

Artists Statement

My work is a complete contradiction. I move from the wonders of modern technology back in time to the1800's process of cyanotypes. Anna Atkins would either approve of my experimentations or roll over in her grave. I hopes she'd approve.

Over the years my photography has transitioned from film to a large digital camera and zoom lens then to small lightweight plastic toy film cameras and now my iPhone. The portability and quality of the iPhone has brought a new awareness of my surrounding where everything is immediate and up-close.My work is always meant to move the viewer, be it the mood, mystery or just a feeling. Being a perfectionist I do all my own printing.

My cyanotypes are anything but traditional except for the chemicals I use. Each work is an ongoing experiment pushing my unlimited imagination and passion to find the limits of cyanotype. I don’t think there are any except my imagination. These are all photograms using wet or wet into wet cyanotype done on paper, a failed lumen or perhaps over another cyanotype. My goal is to push boundaries, excite the eye, make you look a second, third or more times, get up close to see the fine detail and interpret them as you may.