Vicky Knowler

ArtAscent Gold Artist of the 2022 Cold call for artists.

We live in complex times, where the metaphorical cold of loneliness is commonplace. In a context of destabilizing detachment, Vicky Knowler searches through the medium of photography for a deep and steady connection between souls.

Vicky takes photographs set in an icy setting that are far from emotionless. Moved by the alienating experience of the COVID-19 pandemic, the artist searched for elements that could restore warmth and emotional contact. Interestingly, she found emotional support for her and her family in the household pet, Wendy the cat. This genuine and authentic relationship becomes the motor of her photographic project, My Dog and Me, which portrays children with their beloved dogs, close and safe in mutual trust even under the snowstorm. Vicky’s photos thus become the storybook of this peculiar bond. The art project presented here involves several families who recognized the spontaneous relationship between humans and animals in their children and pets captured by the artist. What makes Vicky’s photographs so special is that her point of view is never that of adults. She truly investigates what excites and interests children. Her photos try to give back the sense of wonder and imagination of their world.

Stylistically, Vicky’s photographic practice is highly narrative. Each image is captured as a precise frame of a larger story and then edited in Lightroom or Photoshop, enhancing its more dreamlike aspects. But that’s not all: Vicky accompanies the vision with a textual apparatus, which tells the characteristics of the protagonists, children, and animals, allowing the viewer to get in touch with their simplicity. Best friend, brother, sister, guardian, or confidant…many roles are entrusted to the dog of the house. These roles are based on a bond that creates deep memories even in cold stress or discomfort. The photographs were taken in harsh outdoor conditions, specifically in January 2022 on the coldest days in the Kawartha Lakes. Vicky’s photography fits within a particular artistic genre of portraying the world of childhood because of its joy and lack of fictional artifice. Although staged and elaborately premeditated, her photos—like those of the famous photographer Anne Geddes or those dedicated to children created by Elliott Erwitt—retain the purity and vulnerability of the tender age of infancy.

Vicky Knowler was born in Québec, Canada and moved to Toronto in 1997. She has come a long way before finding her mission and deciding to fulfill her passion for art and photography. She specializes in newborn, family, and children photography, winning several awards from International Baby Photography Contests. As a single mom who raised two children, she finds a powerful source of inspiration in their dreamlike world and expectations. Capable of keeping you warm from the cold.

Vicky Knowler is the Gold Artist of the ArtAscent Cold call for artists. To see the full body of work and profile, get a copy of the ArtAscent Art & Literature Journal Cold issue.

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