Arts & Entertainment
2 min

Creative dimensions

10x10 Photography Project opens in time for Pride

Sky Gilbert, as photographed by R Kelly Clipperton. Credit: 10x10 Project
Ten photographers. Ten portraits. Toronto’s 10×10 Photography Project celebrates queer Canadians of artistic bent.
James Fowler and David Pike first launched the project last year.
“We decided Toronto needed something in the way of visual arts programming during Pride, both for locals and visitors to the city,” Fowler says, noting he wanted to fuse the artistic and queer community to offer a visual aspect to Pride.
He aims to make it a 10-year project; every year 10 new queer photographers will photograph 10 queer artists to create an exhibit of 100 portraits.
“We want people that are artists in various disciplines: actors, painters, musicians, composers and also people who work behind the scenes,” Fowler says. “People who haven’t been featured, who work tirelessly for various festivals in Canada. The unsung heroes.”
This year’s10×10 photographers are R Kelly Clipperton, Adamo de Pax, Guntar Kravis, JJ Levine, Sue Lloyd, John Monteith, Renee Navarro, Alex Nursall, Allyson Scott and Sonja Scharf.
Clipperton’s artists include Sky Gilbert, Sasha Van Bon Bon, John Alcorn, Kristyn Wong-Tam and Thom Allison, all dressed in their Sunday finest at a 1930s-inspired garden party.
“I always try to capture those tiny little moments the naked eye can’t really see. I really enjoy presenting the true beauty in everyone I shoot,” Clipperton says. “Toronto is a truly unique special place to me. Our history and stories and the brilliant people who inhabit this city are, too. I wanted to be a part of documenting that.”
John Monteith opted to photograph a group of dancers, artists and choreographers he’s admired over the years. His temporal portraits reference memories reconstructed from fragments spanning a diverse mix of senior, mid-career and emerging artists, including Terrence Koh, Christopher House, Elle Flanders, Tamira Sawatzky, Sameer Farooq and Matthew Chiu.
“Rather than use one image from a photo shoot, I shoot 100 images of my subject over a period of time,” he says. “With each image I reduce the opacity to virtual invisibility, erasing the photograph. I then layer each image together to make a final temporal composite of the subject. A representation of subject and movement unique to the individual within the time frame of the photo shoot.”
Sonja Scharf, who runs Akasha Art Projects, a gallery, custom framing and installation business, creates period-inspired tableau portraits. Some of her 10×10 subjects include painter James Huckwith, filmmakers Shawna Dempsey and Lorri Millan, comedian Elvira Kurt and photographer Nelson French.
“My fine-art photography is based on tableaus. In creating these portraits I continued this tradition,” Scharf says. “In the past my work is usually inspired by renaissance and pre-Raphaelite paintings. For this project of 10 subjects, I expanded my love of period pieces to include medieval, Edwardian and ’30s and ’40s Hollywood themes.”

The Deets:

10×10 Photography Project
Runs Thurs, June 28 to Fri, July 20
Opening reception Thurs, June 28, 7pm
The Gladstone
1214 Queen St W