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Local boy, 11, avidly pursuing photography


DURHAM – Liam Ryan uses selective colouring to make a branch of berries pop in his picture recently hung in the Aberdeen Hospital Auxiliary gallery.

What’s most striking, though, is not the splash of red in an otherwise black and white photograph. It’s in the knowledge that the photographer is only 11 years old.

Liam, who has been looking through a viewfinder since he was four, is the youngest artist to have his work in the Art On The Wall Gallery, which is a fundraising project of the auxiliary. He’s also the youngest member of SNAPS (Scotsburn-Northumberland Amateur Photography Society).  

“He can take something ordinary and show it from a new perspective,” his mother, Melanie Ryan, said during an interview at their home in Durham. When he was younger, she used to think his height was behind his captures – offering him a different vantage point – but as he progressed, she started to believe he has an eye for it.  

Liam used to use his mother’s camera, but after he broke one, Melanie jokes, they decided it was time for him to have his own. Since he was nine, he’s had his own point and shoot.

This isn’t the first time Liam’s work has been up for sale, or hung in a gallery setting. It is the first time it’s been in a new frame – previously hanging his work in old, wooden frames – and the only time he’s printed off an 8x10.

“It looked like a new photo when it was framed,” he said.

He’s always been artistic, his mother says, remembering him sketching a Christmas tree when he was only two. “What two-year-old doesn’t just scribble?”

Ellis Roddick, a photographer for 50 years who has experience working with children, offered to be Liam’s mentor, teaching him the technical aspects.

“His creativity is really his own. I haven’t even had to touch on that, “ she says. “He’s just so keen, and he’s spent a lot of time with photography. With anything, you need to put a lot of time and he’s doing that.”

She says he has a free approach to trying things, a way of thinking she attributes to his homeschooling.

In the regular school system, she says, kids don’t learn to be experimental and try things on their own.

Liam also has his work featured in the latest SNAPS show at the deCoste Centre, which is hanging until the end of June.

 

Amanda.jess@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda

 

FACTBOX:

About Art On The Wall Gallery

-       60 pieces changed every six months

-       6 local artist groups submit their work (one of which is SNAPS)

-       20 per cent of the sale goes to the Aberdeen Hospital Auxiliary

-       Located in the hallway off the hospital’s main lobby

-       Can be purchased at Martha’s Place Gift Shop

-       Auxiliary raises funds for equipment and care items for the hospital

Their current project is for a family room to provide a homelike retreat for children experiencing emotional trauma in the Emergency Department 

What’s most striking, though, is not the splash of red in an otherwise black and white photograph. It’s in the knowledge that the photographer is only 11 years old.

Liam, who has been looking through a viewfinder since he was four, is the youngest artist to have his work in the Art On The Wall Gallery, which is a fundraising project of the auxiliary. He’s also the youngest member of SNAPS (Scotsburn-Northumberland Amateur Photography Society).  

“He can take something ordinary and show it from a new perspective,” his mother, Melanie Ryan, said during an interview at their home in Durham. When he was younger, she used to think his height was behind his captures – offering him a different vantage point – but as he progressed, she started to believe he has an eye for it.  

Liam used to use his mother’s camera, but after he broke one, Melanie jokes, they decided it was time for him to have his own. Since he was nine, he’s had his own point and shoot.

This isn’t the first time Liam’s work has been up for sale, or hung in a gallery setting. It is the first time it’s been in a new frame – previously hanging his work in old, wooden frames – and the only time he’s printed off an 8x10.

“It looked like a new photo when it was framed,” he said.

He’s always been artistic, his mother says, remembering him sketching a Christmas tree when he was only two. “What two-year-old doesn’t just scribble?”

Ellis Roddick, a photographer for 50 years who has experience working with children, offered to be Liam’s mentor, teaching him the technical aspects.

“His creativity is really his own. I haven’t even had to touch on that, “ she says. “He’s just so keen, and he’s spent a lot of time with photography. With anything, you need to put a lot of time and he’s doing that.”

She says he has a free approach to trying things, a way of thinking she attributes to his homeschooling.

In the regular school system, she says, kids don’t learn to be experimental and try things on their own.

Liam also has his work featured in the latest SNAPS show at the deCoste Centre, which is hanging until the end of June.

 

Amanda.jess@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: @NGNewsAmanda

 

FACTBOX:

About Art On The Wall Gallery

-       60 pieces changed every six months

-       6 local artist groups submit their work (one of which is SNAPS)

-       20 per cent of the sale goes to the Aberdeen Hospital Auxiliary

-       Located in the hallway off the hospital’s main lobby

-       Can be purchased at Martha’s Place Gift Shop

-       Auxiliary raises funds for equipment and care items for the hospital

Their current project is for a family room to provide a homelike retreat for children experiencing emotional trauma in the Emergency Department 

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