creators mountains

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Creators Mountains is a poetic-portrait study of creative women in the Canadian Rockies.
The portraits, created in a meaningful outdoor location, are accompanied by poetic musings written to capture the essence of each woman’s creative journey and personal mythology and juxtaposed with photograph of their workspace.
This is an on-going project, and I welcome new connections for the next phase.


Artist Statement

Creators Mountains holistically represents the personal mythologies of women who are drawn to live and create in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. This narrative portrait study reveals mountain-women, their creative workspaces, and inspirational outdoor locations that provide energy for their inward expeditions.

This photographic exploration reveals the interconnectedness of creativity, womanhood, motherhood, the power of story-sharing and the majesty of the mountains. The personal experience of these women presents a tapestry of empathic connections with each other, with creative spirit and with the landscape.

Poetic portraits are the result of my unique creative process, combining personal relationships and a journey into the vulnerable, spiritual spaces held by creative women. Photographed in the precise moment when the individual connects directly to herself, spirit and nature.  These portraits also merge symbolism and authentic photojournalism approaches.

This exhibition is a merely a prologue for a long-term photographic undertaking, one that will expand with time, connections and introductions to new personal myths of creative mountain-women. Creators Mountains is a photographic and story-sharing quest into personal myths and their collective impact on cultural mythologies and why women are drawn to live and create in these mountains.

Patti Dyment

In the Air By. Katherine B. Topolniski Your dedication draws you outward. Upward. The wind passes through you, freeing

Marie-Eve Laflamme

Rejoining Threads By: Katherine B. Topolniski Competitively striving for the sake of mass consumption, connected

Cori Brewster

The place that is By: Katherine B. Topolniski Momma always sang in the mountains, And we would sing along, my sisters

Katherine Topolniski

Expanding By: Katherine B. Topolniski Expansion happens naturally. Flowing and ebbing like droplets on the edge of an

Lori Reid

Living in Radio By: Katherine B. Topolniski As the river flows, over toes, on it’s journey toward the ocean, music is

Karen Maiolo

Space without Limitation By: Katherine B. Topolniski A woman’s eyes open wide, as a young girl’s, to the sight of a

Janice Tanton

A New Dream by: Katherine B. Topolniski The dream of the dream of the dream unraveled, breathing a frustrated sigh

Jane Newman

Guardian of Solitude By: Katherine B. Topolniski A guardian of solitude is conceived at the timberline. She is

Kendall Hunter

It’s not you – it’s me by: Katherine B. Topolniski I feel your strength every time I look at you. You want me to look

Artist Reflection

The energy and power of the Rocky Mountains is a constant force and inspiration. My passion for photography was born here when I was a 5-year-old girl with an old 35mm camera around my neck and endless imagination. My father, a photography teacher, gave me my start in the darkroom at age nine and introduced me to the art form.

I have had a photographic practice for nearly my entire life; I studied photojournalism, and ran a wedding/portrait company in Toronto for a decade. When I became disenchanted with Toronto life, the compelling allure of returning to the mountains drew me in with great intensity.

I have found a profound sense of purpose living in Banff. The concept for this project came after a two-year hiatus from photography. I set out to explore the lives and stories of other creative women to enliven my own creative spirit, as well as to investigate the influence these mountains hold.

This project is deeply personal. I believe there is a mighty power in story telling, something that I value wholeheartedly as a creator, a woman and a human. I am fascinated by the ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ journey of artists, their workspaces, personal mythologies and connection to creative spirit.

Our eight conversations were infused with self- reflections, teachings, compassion and synchronistic connections. Through our shared stories, each of us have been inspired, supported, encouraged and empowered in one way or another. The project took on profound meaning, beyond what was anticipated.

Photographic Process

I set out to photograph this portrait series holistically and with clear intention.

I connected with eight creative women; some of whom I knew personally, others whose work I was familiar with, and some who were new introductions. Each woman has been drawn to the live and create in the Bow Valley.

The process involves three connections with each participant; a discovery interview, workspace photograph and a portrait session in each woman’s ‘self-selected’ location. The interviews provide insight into authentic inner-spirit, and personal mythology in order to infuse symbolism into each portrait.

I work exclusively with available and natural light, capturing the true essence of person and place and making each portrait in a moment when there is true connection to self and environment.

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