Hey, this photo is © Olena Sullivan | photolena.

Torture Garden Toronto

June 2, 2012 @ The Events, Alternative, Articles, Projects, Top Picks

Torture Garden, the fantastic 3 day fetish extravaganza of the year hit Toronto last month and for the first time I had a press pass to shoot the performances! I’ve been wanting to attend this event for quite a long time now and was very excited to be heading out to the Saturday night festivities just down the street from me at the Opera House.

What a magical night full of mesmerizing performances. I was almost hypnotized by the human chandelier full of lovely bound ladies, ribbons on their arms and legs, gliding through the air like tethered angels. Round and round they went, it seemed forever. So beautiful to watch.

Suka Off, a performance art group from Poland, was highly anticipated by the crowd and definitely didn’t disappoint. I have a thing for bandages – must be from having Silent Hill as a favourite movie – and they look great as a photo prop. Our lovely victim in this performance was not only bandaged, but also a ballerina who suffered through several needle piercings in the most creative of ways. Needles from the candles on a birthday cake and needles from the ends of blood bags that in actuality squirted red wine into the waiting glasses of audience members. Awesomely sick.

My other favourite of the evening was aerialist/suspension artist Miranda Tempest who beautifully contorted and spun through the air while hanging from shining chains. It was stunning to watch and I kept thinking just how much it must hurt to hang some of her tender parts off the rough chain.

With the challenging lighting at the Opera House and spotlighting used for the performances, I had to shoot mostly at 3200 ISO, a level I don’t ever usually hit. But the feeling I had from these shots had me processing them in a much different way than I usually do – much darker and bruised to match the tone of the event. Have a look at some of my favourite photos, “before” and “after” my processing…

Related articles