Press Release

Barbara Cole Debuts Newest Series Surfacing at Galerie LeRoyer this April, Celebrating Female Empowerment and Resilience
Cole’s self-referential subjects and ethereal imagery contributes to an important dialogue about communal healing and overcoming social stigmas

MONTREAL – April 1st – Artist Barbara Cole’s newest collection of works and upcoming exhibition, Surfacing, represents triumph, survival and self-actualization. The underwater photographic series on display this April at Montreal’s Galerie LeRoyer depicts rising shimmering figures against an enigmatic backdrop of the ocean. Much like Cole’s underwater images, there is a fantastical elegance to her work. Yet this series, fueled by personal history in many ways, is an ode to the power of will and strength.
Capturing the motion of rising through water, Cole metaphorically depicts the trials which bring us ultimately toward resilience, allowing us to arrive at a place of true empowerment. With depth as a common motif in both the physical setting and greater message, Surfacing is the embodiment of what it means to rise and conquer. Cole’s female subjects are certainly a representation of herself but also of the many women that prevail through daily turmoil and issues that often are tagged with various stigmas.
Cole entered the fashion and photography world at a time when it was a predominantly male industry, navigating unfamiliar waters, so to speak, is a familiar feeling for the artist. 

“The metaphor echoes my own struggles as well as my personal and artistic accomplishments. These women are taking back power and leading the way. ”

Barbara Cole’s Surfacing stands as a beautiful testament to strength and perseverance, and has a powerful autobiographical undertone. 



Barbara Cole is an award-winning Canadian photographer known for her underwater, figurative work. Her photographs have been exhibited widely in both private and public institutions, with solo exhibitions at the Canadian
Embassies in both Tokyo and Washington, and inclusions in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas. She has completed several large-scale commissions for notable sites, including the M. Lau Breast Cancer Centre in Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital. In 2012, the acclaimed documentary series Snapshot: The Art of Photography II featured an episode devoted to Cole’s photographic practice; in 2015, she was commissioned to create the promotional artwork for the National Ballet of Canada’s production of Le Petit Prince. Cole is also the recipient of the Grand Prize at the Festival International de la Photographie de Mode in Cannes.

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