Former pro volleyballer goes deep for photos

Bryce Barry hikes, mountain bikes to snap nature images

Bryce Barry already has a few chapters to her life story.

Growing up in Sechelt, she graduated with an English degree from the University of Victoria. She also spent many years on the competitive circuit, representing Canada as a beach volleyball player on world tours.

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Barry travelled the world, living in California and visiting some of the most remote places in the world like the Isle of Skye — the largest island in the Inner Hebrides archipelago.

And, in 2015, she wrote a book, titled More than Medals, charting the success of professional athletes like herself, and speaking about her interviews and personal journey at schools, universities, at corporate events and to sports clubs and teams.

But, three years ago, Barry turned the page again and shifted into a full-time career of photography — a gig that sees her return to her roots on the Sunshine Coast every month.

On hikes and mountain biking in her native territory as well as around Metro Vancouver, Barry packs her Nikon camera and heads into the deepest parts of the forests.

There, she snaps “moody” West Coast scenes, as the Coquitlam artist describes it, with mist hovering over the tops of old-growth trees, moss crawling up boulders and landscapes bouncing off cool, grey waters.

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Often, Brry hits the trails around her Oakdale home (with the neighbour’s dog in tow) or rents a boat to voyage up Indian Arm to find just the right outdoor vista.

In the Tri-Cities, Minnekhada regional park, Sasamat and Buntzen lakes, and Burke and Eagle mountains are her go-tos.

Her aim, she said, is to find an image that looks like “something that you can step into…. They’re hidden places, where I most relax.”

Next Thursday, Barry will highlight half a dozen of large-scale photos of her wooded adventures in a debut show at the Port Moody Arts Centre.

Curator Janice Cotter crossed the work of Barry, Bev Ellis and Brenna Quan’s to present Breathing Space, with nature — as a multi-sensory experience — being the focus.

Barry’s images — typically measuring 48 x 36 inches on sealed wood canvasses — will be complemented by Ellis’ birch sculptures and Quan’s floral and plant designs.

Barry said she’s excited to see how their art looks pieced together.

BRYCE WITH GIRLS

And she also hopes the show will give her photos some new exposure, allowing her to make connections and have her work shown in corporate settings.

Lately, she’s promoted her non-gloss images at design conferences like Address Assembly, and garnered commissions.

Recently, she travelled to Princeton to capture an outdoors scene for someone’s home. Fortunately, an eagle swooped down and landed in the middle of her image “like it was meant to be. I’ll remember that day for a long time.”

• The opening reception for Breathing Space is Jan. 10 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Port Moody Arts Centre (2425 St. Johns St.). The exhibit ends Feb. 7. Call 604-931-2008 or visit pomoarts.ca for more details. 

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