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Sad Mag

Sad Mag is a quarterly magazine that celebrates independent art and culture in “No Fun City” - Vancouver, B.C. Sad Mag publishes the work of burgeoning writers and visual artists, primarily in the ages of 15 to 30. Workshop image courtesy of Esther Lemieux-Bibeau

In collaboration with the Vancouver Aquarium SchoolPrograms and Qmunity’sYouth Project, Sad Mag hosted The Sea Legs pinhole photography workshop on June 20, 2012, in an effort to connect queer youth with Vancouver artists in a safe space.

Workshop image courtesy of Esther Lemieux-Bibeau.
Using old boxes from the gift shop, juice bottle lids, pop cans, expired film, and used film canisters, participants constructed pinhole cameras to photograph sea creatures in the educational wet lab. Aquarium volunteers provided education on the various specimens native to the Vancouver shoreline, while participants had a chance to handle some of the sea creatures before photographing them.

The ocean composes most of the earth’s surface and the majority of life on the planet. Society often anthromorphizes animals, talking about genders and reproduction calling a barnacle he or she, but we must remind ourselves that these animals are beautiful without visible gender. We can’t normalize the ocean based on human assumptions. These animals are diverse, successful and most of them have no visible difference between male and female or no gender at all. The theme of the workshop was focused on the education/preservation of local sea life and of traditional photography as a fine art form.

Workhop image courtesy of Esther Lemieux-Bibeau.Sad Mag’s Editor in Chief, Creative Director, Designer, and Photographers worked with participants at photo-stations (which were professionally lit by the amazing Jonathan Wong). The images range from purple tentacles, to abstract interpretations of hermit crabs, urchins, and anemones. Intensely colored, soft and dreamy, these are experimental 35 mm film photographs.


Select images from the workshop have been published in the VANIMAUX issue and many more were displayed at the issue launch exhibition, Vanimaux II, which opened on August 2, 2012 at the Gam Gallery (110 East Hastings Street, Vancouver). The exhibition was so popular, it ran for 3 full weeks and was shown again in The Moat Gallery at The Word on the Street Festival.

Contributed by: Katie Stewart, Creative Director of Sad Mag

Sad Mag is funded in part by the BC Arts Council, supporting artists and
arts organizations in communities across B.C.