Benalto photographer Yvette Brideau. (Contributed photo).

Benalto photographer Yvette Brideau. (Contributed photo).

Traces of Central Alberta’s past captured by Benalto photographer

Yvette Brideau’s exhibit Vestige is on at the Red Deer museum

Benalto photographer Yvette Brideau has captured remainders from Central Alberta’s near-vanished past in her exhibit Vestige at the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery.

The small exhibit that runs to Feb. 27 is titled with a French word for a “surviving remnant.”

Brideau’s small black-and-white photographs of abandoned churches and silent spaces aptly show vestiges that are left behind after time and people have moved on.

The New Brunswick native of Acadian descent took these photos over a 20-year span, while exploring Central Alberta with her husband, artist Dave More.

“Churches, places of worship, remembrance and gardens fascinate me,” explained Brideau. “The structures, symbols and sanctuary have greatly influenced me and give me solace and hope.”

To create these prints, Brideau used a darkroom method that she’s since discontinued because of the toxicity of the chemicals involved. The images are imposed on archival silver paper, with their vignettes defined with a “ragged ethereal frame.”

Unlike the changeable nature of today’s digital imagery, Brideau said these image are “absolute!”

Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery