i-D

I was blessed with the opportunity to shoot Caribana for i-D‘s ‘straight up’ series. I haven’t been to Caribana in maybe 9 years or more, it was interesting to be in the setting again as an entirely different person. It was amazing to meet so many new people during the interview process and run into a lot of friends along the way. I also ran into my sister who was so shocked to see me there lol, as I’ve been teased as the ‘least Jamaican’ or ‘most Canadian’ in my family my entire life.

ANGAER FOR SUKEBAN

Styling/MUA + Hair by Summer Ellis (who pretty much creative directed the shoot along with me too). The first of hopefully many projects Summer and I get to do together. We wanted to take a lot her archive pieces from Comme/Issey/Yohji and set them with Angaer against a stark hotel in the middle of nowhere, an unusual setting for such prestigious garments. Full editorial soon.

FORMULAS

On August 1st, I did a lecture at Artscape Daniels Launchpad titled ‘FORMULAS: Deconstructing Self’, released my first photo book “PULSE” and had a listening party for the EP I’ve been working on. Moderated by my brother Michael Nyarkoh, installation by Alyssa Alikpala. The lecture was a dialogue on the importance of deconstructing self in order to attain growth and various formulas for approaching this deconstruction. I gave so much of myself that night that I was emotionally/mentally empty, a week or so later I still haven’t entirely processed my emotions- but the root is joy. My music is very dear to me so to abruptly share it with so many people was jarring. I wouldn’t have it any other way though.

I plan to continue this lecture at different venues, my music will be coming out soon and there are a few copies left of my photo book. I’ll be posting when and where they’ll be available- if you’re curious now you can send me an email and we can chat. Thanks to everyone that was involved and thank you to anyone that shared the space with me. Event photos by Nyaomi.

NIA CENTRE – ON OUR BOOKSHELF

I conceptualized a book donation program for the Nia Centre for the Arts alongside Executive Director Alica. When I visited the Nia Centre for our exhibiton “Eglinton Cityscapes : New Persepectives on Home” Alica showed me their growing library- I was in the process of moving at the time and thought about all the books I had (that I love but would part ways with for the right reason) and how this would be a great opportunity to share information/inspiration with emerging black artists that use the space.

We ran into each other a few months later and came up with the idea of having artists donate books and being interviewed on why they chose said books to donate. I donated Shaniqwa Jarvis’ self titled photo book. Read the interview below.

Q:Why did you choose this book?
I chose Shaniqwas’ book because her work is a great identifier for black photographers as it spans across many different orbits. Her existence as a black female photographer (whose dealt with sexism, racism as well as being under appreciated/undermined) is a revolutionary act in itself- the fact that she’s persevered and made timeless work for over 20 years is exciting and inspiring. I want this book to be among other black artists who may need a reminder when their creative professions/pursuits become stifling and we forget there are reference points out there for us that have laid guidelines on how we can operate. Beyond race as a qualifier, she’s found a way to translate various realms of photography (personal, commercial, fashion, fine art) in a very fluid and personal way. It’s an amazing book that highlights the various ways a photographer can approach their style and that they don’t have to flow in any specific stream.

 Q: Why should Black artists read this book?
Shaniqwa is an amazing photographer first and foremost, that’s the main reason I chose this book. Ultimately, I hope it encourages black artists to further dive into her story and learn about the obstacles she faced and how she’s managed to overcome them. And also recognize that her story is one of many and that whatever they’re facing isn’t unique, there are others who have dealt with similar challenges and not to feel like they need to tackle any of it alone. Walk towards people who support and uplift you wholeheartedly, give what you can when and where you can, make sure your heart and intentions are pure and continue to grow.

Q:How did it help your artistic practice?
It helped me understand the scope of where photography can be taken and generally was thrilling to own a book from such an amazing black woman.

Q: What your favourite quote or line?
There’s no text, but my favourite photo is the cover photo which Shaniqwa took of her niece, styled in her clothes and using her phone

BETTER GIFT SHOP + SHAUN CRAWFORD

Okay – Better Gift Shop released their run of summer t’s as well as their collaboration with artist Shaun Crawford (Corpuz drew the dog t shirt and he absolutely nailed it). We had a great day, after the shoot we watched the sunset as purple and pink hues sparkled across the seemingly endless water- minds wandering off individually in unison. Scroll down for portraits of everyone after the shoot to finish my roll (rather then clipping it early).

AUSTERE

I’m extremely proud of my brother Kwame for creating L’oeuvre, I remember him telling me in brief (he’s like me and doesn’t like to harp too much on his ideas in conversation until they’re actualized) about it. It was a pleasure to be able to contribute to his platform and create a beautiful project together. Oh, Kwame is also the first person to buy one of my prints- we’re linked for life at this point lol.

BAMBII

Shot this phenomenal human being @bam_bii for her new mix for @indiemagazine, styled by @bypseudonym. Bambii has always believed in me, even when I didn’t believe in myself. I have flashbacks of sparse interactions before we knew each other as well as we do now, where she would reaffirm my goals and urge me to proceed. Listen to the mix, it’s amazing, DM her on instagram and tell her you love her and tell her she’s amazing for everything she’s done thus far and will continue to do.