Local artist Reymond Pagé travelled the world for 275 days, going 30,000 miles by plane, boat, train, bus, car, rickshaw, camel and foot. It’s something most of us can only dream of, but Pagé has turned it all into an art exhibit, where the viewer can come along for the ride.
The show, 275 Days, is a collection of drawings, paintings and photographs inspired by Pagé’s travels. But Pagé says he doesn’t have just one reason for deciding to travel the world.
“A desire to travel and learn, a need to break from routine, wanting to focus on our family, a creeping recognition that our good health is not something we should take for granted,” said Pagé. “Also, I think that creatively I was stuck in a bit of a rut, and that if we didn’t take this time to travel, nine months later I would likely find myself doing the exact same thing I was doing before.
“I really needed to shake things up.”
And so, Pagé backpacked across the world with his wife and two children from July 2007 to May 2008, visiting Italy, Greece, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
“I researched like crazy for quite some time before we left and knew that I would have the opportunity to capture a lot of unique imagery,” he said. “I was fairly confident that I would be using that experience as a basis for a lot of future work, but not necessarily in a show like this.”
Pagé says the goal wasn’t to create an art show, but it wasn’t exactly coincidence either.
“I took 20,000 pictures in those nine months, many just as documentary evidence of our travels, but quite a few where in my head I was thinking, ‘Hmm, I’m going to be able to use that for something.’
“The true goal of this trip, though, was to grow closer as a family. Everything else was secondary.”
275 Days runs until Saturday, Nov. 13 at the Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery at the Canadian Mennonite University (600 Shaftesbury Blvd.).
Published in Volume 65, Number 5 of The Uniter (September 30, 2010)