Fate can surprise us. A casual encounter, an exchange of business cards, can suddenly become important. Such was the manner in which Kerly Ilves’ and Peeter Põldre’s careers intertwined as a result of meeting at the 2011 EstDocs opening at the Bell TIFF Lightbox in downtown Toronto. Their common ground was photography and this exhibit offered them an opportunity to collaborate.
Ilves’ birthplace is Tartu. Even as a child, she was interested in visiting Canada, a dream that came true in the spring of 2011. Since 1993 she has explored many aspects of Tartu through her camera lens. Her calling is photography. Toronto is new and interesting, and offers many similarities and connections to Estonia.
Põldre was born in Buenos Aires, to Estonian parents, and has lived in Toronto almost 56 years. He works as a physician. During his student days, he travelled to Europe, but his budget compelled him to a strict daily limit of photos. Never would he have dreamed that by the spring of 2012, with superb Nikon equipment, he would be photographing birds, and that his Estonian heritage would lay the foundation for a collaborative photo exhibit.
“Tartu, Toronto – Two Perspectives” is not about two Estonias, but rather tries to capture both the parallels and the contrasts between two cities that are very far apart. Whether the places were small or large, our stories and the moments we captured, as two photographers sharing an Estonian heritage, tried to present portraits of our two cities. For those who wish, the exhibit offers an opportunity to study contrasts and to realize that such contrasts make life interesting. Canada is a very tolerant nation, which fortunately allows for tiny Estonia to be understood and seen.
Exhibition stays open at Tartu College (310 Bloor St. W.) until September 13, 2013.