The concept of love has been the driving force behind the creation of some of our greatest works of art, our philosophies, and our most severe behaviors. While Webster’s dictionary defines love as “a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person”, this uniform definition precludes our understanding that the human experience of love is varied.

Angela Fama began What Is Love in response to this standardized definition. Aimed at unifying communities past perceived differences and together redefining the word “love”, for the months of May and June 2015, Fama and her assistant Joel Tong set up at 20+ locations across Canada and the United States. Using the same set up for each portrait session within her travelling RV studio, Fama sat individually with interested adult passersby discussing the word “love”. She asked the same question of everyone and documented the process by capturing a consistent set of photographs timed within the discussion and recorded the stories shared. The project has been created with the intent of comparative viewing.

What Is Love is housed under the umbrella project Wabisabi Butterfly, founded by Fama in 2010 with the concept of bringing together adult survivors of trauma and sexual abuse to form safe, respectful and inclusive communities engaged in the arts and positive change. Partial funding for What Is Love was provided by her community through the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform.

WABISABI: Acceptance of transience and imperfection.
BUTTERFLY: Formed when a caterpillar digests itself, entering into a self-contained coccoon chrysalis period emerging after fully transforming itself.

Angela Fama’s work investigates themes of meaning, emotion, memory and change. As a multidisciplinary photographic artist, Fama is interested in exploring the tension inherent in our collective desire for both the temporal and timeless. She is often found burrowing through the endless excess, finding substance and beauty in the overlooked or forgotten.

Born in Tennessee, raised in Ontario and Zimbabwe, Fama currently works out of Vancouver, BC.

In conjunction with the Capture Photography Festival

What is Love

Angela Fama

Exhibit Dates

Apr 7 to May 14, 2016




BAF Gallery
108 East Broadway
Vancouver, BC