By Romina Monaco

Stirring the subconscious with her thought-provoking images is award-winning photographer, Joanna Katchutas. Original and at times mythical, her photographs echo the complexity existing within the realms of human emotion. While surrealistic, these works are a reflection of Katchutas’ own life experiences and personal evolution.

“Things change throughout the course of someone’s life. Whatever I am going through in that particular moment of my life is mirrored in what I create. Because I am always changing and evolving so does my work”, she explains.

Her collections were being shown at various exhibitions across the GTA long before graduating from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 2011. Recognized and celebrated for her numerous themed collections, she was given her first solo exhibit at the 2012 Vaughan In Focus Exhibition. Katchutas was awarded the Reserve Best in Show Award for her farcical “The Trapeze Artist: The Circus of Everyday Life Series” at a separate exhibit presented by Vaughan In Focus in collaboration with Vaughan City Hall.

If that isn’t enough to be proud of, her mystical “Water” piece from the Element Faerys Series will be permanently placed within the walls of Vaughan City Hall in the fall of 2013. This series expresses man’s connection with nature, his role in urbanization and the balance that can be found between both. When asked why she feels her work has made such a profound impact, she replied, “I like to build my set from the ground up and enjoy using various mediums such as metal, wood and sculpture in my photographs. For example, I created metal wings for the Element Faerys Series”.

The Multiple Clues Series, which sprang from her love of the board game, Clue reveals a number of visual narratives. The theme is multiplicity and each piece portrays the game’s characters in multiple situations. Brilliantly, this series demonstrates how thought processes and emotions lead to choices, actions, consequences and ultimately - destiny. The collection’s “Miss Scarlet” piece won the People’s Choice and Reserve Best in Show awards at the 2009 Vaughan Juried Art Exhibition.