The first impression I got from talking to Tia Coxon is that this girl has no fear. She has successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and slept in tents in Africa with lions and other wildlife within breathing distance and she never flinched.
Tia, 30, is an accomplished photographer and videographer and the wonderful photography work from her African safari will be showcased in a photo exhibition May 4 to 13. It is called Instinct to Freedom at Espace Mushagalusa (533 Ontario Est #100 ) near Berri. She welcomes everyone to drop by on opening night (6 pm) and take advantage of the opportunity to contribute to wildlife funds and meet her in person.
Tiah has been a photographer for over 10 years, but this is the first time she will publicly present her work. She has chosen to show the beauty of wildlife, as well as nature through this exhibition. Visitors will be taken on a visual journey to East Africa, on a quest initiated in Tanzania. Proce of the sales will go to Zoo Académie, Fondation Calèche, and Humane Society International, that are working towards the conservation and protection of animals.
A present-day resident of La Petite-Patrie, Tiah studied filmmaking in New York and Italy and worked in Montreal as a photographer and videographer. She started her own business in film and photography, having tried the 9 to 5 grind for a few years.
The climb of Kilimanjaro was done in January 2017. “It had been a tough year for me,” she said. “My mom had passed away and I needed to do something to put my mind somewhere else. The climb is expensive, so I was able to offer my videography services in exchange for becoming part of a climbing group. It took seven days to get up there and two days to get down. It was the hardest thing I have ever done! You require a lot of perseverance. You have no oxygen and your body literally shuts down. It is super cold and you are at risk of frostbite.”
It was soon after that experience that Tiah moved on to the safari. She has always been moved by nature, animals and her surroundings. Her show features 22 pictures, 19 focusing on wildlife. They are the best of her lot from the three and half week life-changing adventure. “The exhibit shows how beautiful these animals are in the environment they are meant for,” she said.
Were there any close calls? “One day an elephant charged at our jeep. That was frightening!”
Tia wil also be hosting a Comedy Night at Espace Mushagalusa on May 11.
You can learn more about Tia at www.temboproductions.com.