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EARTHBOUND: A Photo Exhibition of Outward Bound

Since 1941 Outward Bound has worked to instill confidence, compassion and leadership to more than 10 million people worldwide. “EARTHBOUND” is a Photographic Exhibition of my favourite Outward Bound expeditions in some of the most remote and beautiful regions of the earth over a 28-year period. The large canvases and framed prints are on display at CJ’s Café In Bronte until May 4, with a “Meet The Artist” event this Sunday April 19 2:30 – 4PM. Included in the show are images from Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Australia, Bali, Hong Kong, U.K., Netherlands and across Canada into the Arctic.

In the summer of 1984, I found myself shooting for several days as a volunteer at the Canadian Outward Bound Wilderness School in Northern Ontario. It had rained heavily for the first two days of my visit to the base camp on Black Sturgeon Lake, and my frustration was building. Then, on the third morning, I was awakened by a brilliant sun gleaming across the lake through a white blanket of mist onto my sleeping bag. I raced to the lake to catch the sunrise, and was soon joined by a group about to embark on a canoe marathon. I clicked the shutter as the group paddled into the mist, and I felt a quantum shift – like a new door opening. I did not know it at the time, but my global odyssey with Outward Bound had begun. The marathon photo appears in the photos appears as a title page of my new book ONE SMALL FLAME: Kurt Hahn’s Vision of Education and is also included in the EARTHBOUND show at CJ’s Café.

For the next 26 years I traveled to Outward Bound Centres, United World Colleges and Round Square Schools to create the photographs in the book One Small Flame: Kurt Hahn’s Vision Of Education, launched in 2010 in Germany. Photographing more than 100 Outward Bound courses worldwide has taken me across oceans and deserts, to many mountaintops and rainforests and cities. It’s also allowed the possibility for me to photograph wildlife, remote environments, and portraits of people of diverse cultures. In 2010, I published two additional photography books that span 35 years across 70 countries, UNTITLED and From The Field. 7,000 of these books were printed specifically to donate to children’s charities globally. Photos from these books will be featured in an upcoming show at CJ’s Café in June/July 2015.,mark-zelinski,photography,earthbound,outward-bound-oakville-bronte-art-exhibit

I have so many great travel memories with Outward Bound - one of them was an overnight drive in 2001 from Nairobi to Outward Bound Kenya in the “small rainy season”. The driver Omari arrived several hours late at the airport, having had some engine trouble. We slowly made our way across the the Maasai plain in the old Toyota truck, sometimes stopping to help push another driver out of the mud, sometimes being pushed out ourselves. After a few hours, I asked Omari if we would see Kilimamjaro soon. “Kili sleeping – straight ahead,” he told me, pointing at an overcast sky. Occasionally, a herd of giraffe would run across the snake-like mud road, and we would sometime see the eyes of lions reflected back into the truck lights. Eventually, a bright white shape appeared in the dark sky ahead. “Is that a cloud?” I asked. Omari replied, “No – Kili, comin’ out for de night. God is Great.” Once the sky had cleared completely, we stopped, and I took a photo of the incredible domed mountain against a starry sky. The photo was printed in Outward Bound: The Inward Odyssey volume 2 and later became the cover for From The Field. The photo is part of the EARTHBOUND exhibit at CJ’s Café in Bronte.

In 2009, I joined a powerful 5-day program at Outward Bound Oman, where 15 young women from around the world shared a journey of cultural dialogue in the desert wilderness. One morning I shot the group watching a beautiful sunrise over the Western Hajar Mountains in the vast sands of Oman; this photo appears on the cover of my new book ONE SMALL FLAME: Kurt Hahn’s Vision of Education and is also included in the EARTHBOUND show.