A&E » Arts

Black and white and ride all over

Mountain biking photographer Margus Riga's work is on show at a Forlise pop-up



Photographer Margus Riga is up at Williams Lake in B.C.'s interior and about to go out of cell-phone range.

"We're doing a three-day shoot in the woods with James Dorfman, an athlete I work with a lot; we're going camping," Riga says.

But Riga is back in time to set up the one-day, pop-up gallery of 22 prints of his black and white photography at Forlise in Whistler Village.

"It's May long weekend and opening day at Whistler Bike Park, so there should be a lot of people coming through. It'll be crazy," Riga says.

The show is on from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., with all photography being auctioned off to raise funds for Whistler Off-Road Cycling Association (WORCA).

Riga says the athletes in the photos — Darren Berrecloth, Jill Kintner and Bryn Atkinson — show off their high-end action that didn't make it into promotional campaigns for Sombrio apparel.

"It's some of my favourite work and the fact that we get to display it in black and white, I've always wanted to do something like this. I feel really fortunate," Riga says.

The shots were taken over the last two seasons of fall and summer. Sombrio shoots around the Pacific Northwest — locations on Vancouver Island, Bellingham and around Vancouver.

"Usually for these kinds of shoots, Sombrio takes a small percentage of the photos and uses them for marketing. A lot of the rest get lost, but this way we can show some of my favourite work from those shoots," says Riga.

"This is the first time I've been able to work with a company and produce a show like this. I think it's great that Sombrio has shown an interest in the more artistic side."

The clothing line has also used some of Riga's photos in their pieces, which are available at Forlise.

"It's pretty local — it should be easy to recognize a lot of places," Riga says.

"For people who are interested in the photography side of things, we're giving all the technical information on the photos as well, so people can see how they happened."

Riga has now been a photographer for 20 years, a professional for the past 10 — a career that developed from his own riding career.

"I've been in the game a long time, and I kind of evolved into it — a lifestyle that turned into a job," he says.

"I moved to Whistler from Toronto in the '90s and it went from there.

"The best thing about doing this work is being able to present how an athlete does it, what it is like."

For more information, visit www.sombriocartel.com.