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BIOGRAPHY

Barbara Bolton, Abigail Gossage, Leslie Hossack and Patricia Wallace began working together in fine art printmaking under the mentorship of Michael Tardioli, Founding Director, School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa (SPAO) in 2006 and continue to this day. Retired from demanding professional careers, there they discovered that they had much in common. In 2007, they formed STUDIO 255 and since then,in addition to their individual photographic pursuits, they have been engaged collaboratively in aspects of the photographic process. With a passion for photography, a commitment to strong photographic content and consistent visual aesthetic attention, they delight in showcasing their work.

The exhibition PASSAGE (BoX Gallery, Ottawa 2008) in association with the Ottawa Photography Festival was the group's foray into the broader visual arts world. This collection of haunting photographs explored change and continuity, mortality and renewal.

They made their first trip together in 2009 to Paris. The theme of change and continuity was again dominant in their work. The resultant exhibition, PARIS MMIX (Alliance Française Gallery, Ottawa 2009) presented an enlightened perspective of Paris streets, gardens, historic railway yards and iconic architecture.

In 2010, the group undertook a photographic study of historic Berlin. The result was a collection of evocative and sensitive images that explored Nazi architecture, Holocaust history, Stasi relics and the quieter side of life of today. Three compelling exhibitions were mounted: BERLIN (Exposure Gallery, Ottawa 2010); BERLIN STUDIEN (Alliance Française Gallery, Ottawa 2011); and BERLIN STUDIEN (Consulate General Federal Republic of Germany, Toronto 2011, in association with CONTACT Photography Festival).

Moscow was a captivating city for discovery and photography in 2012. The exhibition, MOSCOW EVIDENCE (Michael Gennis Gallery, Ottawa 2012) presented contemporary doors to honour George Costakis, collector of the avant-garde art forbidden by the Soviet government; the Seven Sisters, skyscrapers commissioned by Joseph Stalin; Stalin's architectural legacy, 1922-2012; and iconic cathedrals and churches representing four periods of Russian architecture, from the 13th to the 19th centuries.

Selected images from MOSCOW EVIDENCE were also presented on three additional occasions. Two of these were exhibitions associated with the Ottawa Photography Festival: TEASE (Patrick Gordon Framing Studio, Ottawa 2012), and KEEPING IT REAL (Michael Gennis Gallery, Ottawa 2012). A third exhibition, MOSCOW, MASADA, JERUSALEM (The Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau, QC 2013), was held in association with a cultural event sponsored by the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Canada.

In 2014, STUDIO 255 travelled to London. Their exhibition, LONDON TIMES (Exposure Gallery, Ottawa 2014) revealed defining periods, past and present: theatres that stayed open during the bombing of World War II and still stand today; a view of the city through rain-streaked glass with dreamy visions of London streets; studies of the bunker complex known as the Churchill War Rooms; and a tapestry of interiors of selected pre-1939 London Public Houses, that meets rigid criteria of historic authenticity and architectural importance.

To celebrate their 10-year collaboration, the quartet chose Vienna in 2016 as their next destination. For their exhibition VIENNA SPIN (Exposure Gallery, Ottawa Oct. 13 - Nov. 22, 2016), Bolton coaxed the windows of Vienna to yield a double take on the city's facades and mysterious inhabitants. Gossage presents images that reflect not only the scores of one of the most important composers of this city of music, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but her personal experiences with his music. Hossack reveals Dr. Sigmund Freud's consulting rooms at Berggasse 19, where he lived and worked in the heart of Vienna for almost 50 years, before fleeing to London to escape the Nazis. Wallace features garden facades of palaces from the splendid Baroque period of architecture known as "Vienna Gloriosa," which began in the mid-1600s and lasted for a century.

Studio 255 contact: Leslie Hossack