Olympians

In 2014, Canadian photographer Jeremy McCormack commissioned Bruce Mau Design to curate and design a fine art book titled Olympians, a project that features his portraits of elite Canadian athletes. The collection of photographs was the result of a two-year, cross-country journey documenting the athletes in practice and in action.  The work was motivated by McCormack’s desire to celebrate the intensity and dynamism of Canadian athletics while also raising the profile of and support for Olympic athletes.

The 160-page book features more than 140 colour and black and white photographs in styles that accentuate each individual and each sport.  The cover and box are a nod to Canada’s identity in both colour and dimension. When laid out, the red sides and white book form a triband of proportions equal to those of the official Canadian flag. The visual layout of the book is organized by similarly themed images from different sports, rather than by sequential photographs of specific individual athletes. Each athlete is featured with a portrait and several action shots that are spread through the entire book, equally and without hierarchy.

While Olympians represents Canadian athletes unified as one Olympic team, should the reader want more information on a specific athlete, the index of the book organizes the images by athlete and focuses on each individual’s journey. The intensity of the photographs simulates the emotions associated with an elite sporting event; from the most tranquil to the most severe moments, and everything in between.  Of his photographs, McCormack writes, “Some of Canada’s greatest athletes can be seen through the perspective of artistic contemplation focused in space, kinesthetic and dynamic.”