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Arts & EventsA dose of Berlin's eclectic hues from photographer Kayla Meyer

A dose of Berlin's eclectic hues from photographer Kayla Meyer

A dose of Berlin's eclectic hues from photographer Kayla Meyer

It's now the season where the sun melts away the remaining snow drifts, revealing the filth that clings to sidewalks and curbs, sparking Ottawa's transformation into a budding, green city. It signifies a thirst for brilliant colour and pleasing cityscapes. As I stood marveling at the photography of local artist Kayla Meyer now on display at Oz Kafe, I received my duly needed dose of vibrant hues, illuminating the dynamic characters and architecture of Berlin.

Meyer presents the Germanic culture in an intriguing way - by injecting bolts of colour and isolating other palettes to juxtapose the old details of the city, which appear to be fusing with the more modern elements through focusing primarily on the artistic side of graffiti. I find this particularly interesting as the capital of Canada enforces strict graffiti laws, identifying it as 'vandalism' whereas the capital of Germany seems to embrace it and almost support 'street art.'  Titled "Colours of Berlin," Meyer is successful in celebrating the more attractive details of graffiti and how it literally colours the city through the perspective of her lens.

Born in Texas but raised in Ottawa, Meyer finisher her masters in International Affairs last year while studying abroad in Berlin where she also spent time collaborating with local artists and building her photography portfolio. While roaming the streets of Berlin, she says she found her subjects just as is, using her talented eye to identify a unique perspective to capture. In one of my favourite pieces called "The Man with the Purple Shoes," she said she turned a corner and simply saw the elderly dapper man seated on a bench, dressed in a crisp suit and fedora, appearing as though he stepped out of a 1920s film, aside from the purple Nike running shoes on his feet.

In "Colour Ball," Meyer boldly contrasts a large street sculpture with its surroundings, making it look like a mammoth play toy or alien object set down in the middle of the city.

The success of the vernissage at Oz Kafe last night was seen in the many empty wine glasses and cheese plates lining the tables from the mass of people who came to admire Colours of Berlin. Meyer is certainly claiming her mark as a skilled photographer on the local scene with previous exhibitions at Trio Lounge and Fluid Colour and Concept Salon. At OLM, we're excited to see more of her around the capital!

The show runs now through May 8 at Oz Kafe (361 Elgin St.). For additional information on Kayla Meyer, visit www.kaylafornia.com.

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