It’s not every day that employees have the chance to explore their creative abilities on the job, let alone be given the time and encouragement from their supervisors to have fun at work. But as Owen Colborne, a technologist in the Bachelor of Photography program recalls, those very notions were at the heart of a project conceived by Ronni Rosenberg, Dean of the Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design, in which he photographed 25 of his colleagues in their daily work environments to showcase their passion and expertise and the tremendous value they bring to Sheridan.
Colborne describes the project as a “labour of love” – one that stretched him to explore a different style of his craft. Having taught photography in the Faculty of Continuing and Professional Studies for 26 years and having worked as a commercial photographer for over 25, he was accustomed to portraiture but not to exploring people’s spaces through photography, which required a different approach.
“The key was finding out what people are happy doing and what they’re proud of” – Owen Colborne
“Many of my colleagues were nervous at first. They didn’t want another head shot. But when they realized that their environment was an equal part of the story, it changed things. The key was finding out what people are happy doing and what they’re proud of,” says Colborne. With the subjects helping to dictate the shot, he turned his focus to figuring out how to showcase the spaces and capture people’s expressions.
From textiles to furniture, mac labs to glass studios, and gallery spaces to sound systems, Colborne explored a diverse range of learning spaces that impact both students and those who run them. “The more you understand what you do, the easier it is to teach others and to learn more yourself.”
The entire collection was displayed in the Sheridan Art Gallery in the fall of 2013. The collection has also inspired an “everyday hero” story campaign for Curiosities. Stay tuned in the weeks ahead as we showcase more of Colborne’s work and bring you the stories of people who support student success.
Pictured at top of page: Owen Colborne self-portriat
Written by: Christine Szustaczek, Director of Communications and External Relations at Sheridan.