Francis A. Willey (born July 21st, 1969) is a Canadian self taught, traditional 35mm film photographer.
He received his first KODAK camera, when he was 12 years old, from his mother June. The first frame ever captured with the aperture of his camera, was a portrait of his mother. He began the art of darkroom processing at age 14. Exploring polaroids and experimenting with Kodak safety film and 100-400 iso expired film stocks.
His first solo exhibition was in 1994, and since then he has continued exhibiting and creating new bodies of work.
He believes that a deeper compassion culture can be met through the arts. As an outsider artist, he has always been questing and seeking refuge in a higher beauty
Francis composes ballads and poems, his school was the value of nature and dreams, people and intuition.
His extended travels to Southeast Asia and the Himalayas had an enormous influence on his art. During these wanderings, a spiritual depth increased in his work, as he lived in monasteries and with local families.
These teachings helped him to gain hope for this capricious world. The experience allowing one to understand the torments of This lack of harmony and divine love, for all humanity and to share happiness freely and equally, without desire, want or need.
On February 2011 he lost a tremendous amount to a tragic house fire
Destroying his home and his art, and most of his photographic negatives.
The flames took his 35mm film cameras, darkroom and his worldly possessions.
Some of the images in the following galleries of this website, are what remains from the devastation of that day.
He sources his own textiles and adornments for every definitive image, to create film images that have a poetical depth in it's storytelling.
is his journey into the psyche and soul and shroud of humankind. Based on his personal experiences, visitations with ghosts and angels, spectral beings. He is deeply fascinated by historical textiles and fabrics and uses these materials to wrap and adorn the body.
His reconciliation with life and the afterlife He folds in a chiaroscuro fashion textiles, that live upon the skin to enhance the shadow. The lighting used would be reflective of the bursts that startled the dark.
His search with the ideologies of immortality and mortality, soul or spirit. Clarified in the beginning as an empirically unfounded belief structure, hence an illusion illustriously presented as light and form floating before his eyes, then emblazoned on film to understand faith and the doctrines of the living.
He works solely to refine the solitude of a masterpiece, where it will draw in it's observer. where the viewer can find solace and release in film magic in subjective resonance.
His work has been exhibited, published and internationally awarded. Exhibiting in NYC LosAngeles Berlin Paris and Italy His photographs are in the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Art. His photographic book 'Ghost' was awarded 3rd prize in Paris at the PX3 awards in the fine art book category.
Blindness has had a political and social reverberation, through deliberate appropriation in a multitude of cultures, countries and religions worldwide.