Euphoric Lands

We are thrilled to announce 𝑬𝒖𝒑𝒉𝒐𝒓𝒊𝒄 𝑳𝒂𝒏𝒅𝒔, an exhibition by Jesse King, John Paillé, Kikki Guerard, and Nadya Kwandibens.

Euphoric Lands
June 6 - 28, 2024
Collision Gallery, 30 Wellington Street West, Toronto

Launch Event
June 15, 2024 - 6pm

Artist Talk
June 29, 2024 - 2pm

What is a euphoric landscape? Is it a place that has an overwhelming sense of joy, happiness, and contentment? As Two-Spirit individuals, we seek wonderment and beauty that transcends the spaces we are often forced to occupy.

Being and existing as Two-Spirit + Indigiqueer are our superpowers. This exhibition highlights the very existence of Two-Spirit, Indigiqueer, and other diverse and intersectional individuals, as an act of resistance. In our photographs, we reveal the magic and vulnerability of our unique communities and, above all, celebrate them.

Euphoric Lands invites the viewer to experience the spaces we create for each other. As Two-Spirit kin, we have weathered the extremities of colonization. This process has ultimately westernized the concept of gender, displacing the traditional views that Two-Spirit people have existed long before colonization; it has catalyzed a society that permits ongoing discrimination, marginalization, and control over Indigenous realities and representation. We innovate community within ourselves to foster connections we may have not felt.

A euphoric landscape, in the context of Queer identity, encapsulates the beauty, diversity, and sense of belonging that can be found as we navigate our journey(s) and honour the unique role we serve within our communities. These creations stand as a testament to the power of art to heal, inspire, and unite. Our intention is not merely to document, but to celebrate Indigenous joy.

This exhibition has been made possible by Collision Gallery, City of Toronto, and DesignTO, and the Ontario Arts Council.

Jesse King

Jesse King, born Ojibwe from Wasauksing First Nation (Eagle Clan), is based in Toronto. King’s work and curatorial interests frequently explore the many facets of identity, including discussions of queerness, gender, and the importance of cultural representation.

King’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in Berlin, Germany, and Tampere, Finland. Their work has been in several independent publications, including fashion magazines such as Wonderland Magazine. King was the Exhibitions and program coordinator at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival for three years, anchoring themselves in celebrating all forms of art through collaboration with national and international artists and galleries. King works with the AGO as the Curatorial Assistant for Indigenous and Youth Programming. 

King sat on the Board of Directors for Trinity Square Video and is a new board

member for The Indigenous Curatorial Collective. King’s ongoing artistic practice is informed by completing a BFA from OCAD University and time spent pursuing their Masters in Design at York University.

website | instagram

Kikki Guerard (website)

A Two-Spirit Cree from Treaty 9 territory, Kikki is an art director, photographer, artist, and storyteller. They are a member of Taykwa Tagamou First Nation and currently reside in Tkarón:to, working in Indigenous film. They pursued a post-secondary education in Photography & Marketing at OCAD University. Kikki specializes in beauty + fashion photography and portraiture. Kikki’s work explores themes of identity, revealing the magic and vulnerability of their community. Through the power of visual storytelling, they hope to create spaces for healing and transformation.

Clients have included Lesley Hampton, Indigenous Fashion Arts Festival, Cheekbone Beauty, imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, Matriarch Movement, Chiefs of Ontario, Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada, and many more.

website | instagram

Nadya Kwandibens (website)

Nadya Kwandibens is Anishinaabe from the Animakee Wa Zhing #37 First Nation in northwestern Ontario. She is an award-winning photographer, a Canon Ambassador, and the current Photo Laureate for the City of Toronto. In 2008, she founded Red Works Photography. Red Works specializes in natural light portraiture and event and concert photography. Her work has been exhibited in group and solo shows across Canada, the United States, and select Canadian Embassies around the world.

Her most recent project, The Red Chair Sessions, is an open-call series that places importance on the reclamation of Indigenous land and revitalization of Indigenous languages. She is currently in the research and development phase for a new multimedia series titled The Kitchen Table Talks that will bring together Indigenous women and LGBTQ2S to round-table perspectives on matrilineal leadership and nationhood with a focus on addressing urgent local and regional Indigenous matters.

In 2018, Nadya won the Ontario Arts Council’s Indigenous Arts Award. Jurors stated, “Nadya is an intrepid, ground-breaking and influential artist. She has brought an Indigenous voice to portrait photography that recontextualizes images and shows us our true selves.”

In addition to commissioned works, Nadya delivers empowering workshops for presentations for youth, universities, and community groups.

website | instagram

John Paillé

John Paillé (he/him/his) is an Anishnaabe (member of Beausoleil First Nation)/French Canadian portrait photographer.

Based in Toronto, John strives to create images that capture his subject's authentic self. Through his work, he wants to create contemporary images of Indigenous peoples, cultures, and histories.

With experience photographing Indigenous Peoples in several countries around the world, John hopes to continue to travel, connect with, and photograph Indigenous peoples around the world.

Currently, John has work featured in the Brooklyn Museum as part of Nico Williams: Aaniin, I See Your Light exhibition.

John is a member of the Indigenous Photograph collective, a database of Indigenous photographers from around the world.

Clients have included: The Washington Post, Buddies in Bad Time Theatre, Paprika Festival, Canadian Art magazine, Consulate General of Canada - Sydney, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, Aboriginal Professional Association of Canada, Canadian Dimension magazine, Frontier College, ImagineNative Film Festival, Winda Film Festival, among many others.

website | instagram

Using Format