ON VIEW AT THE BLUFFS GALLERY: Love Lives in Scarborough featuring select Portrait Series
LOVE LIVES IN SCARBOROUGH featuring select PORTRAIT SERIES
Features works by LoveisLoveisLove and participants of LLL’s Photography Masterclass Series
Exhibition Dates: October 31 to November 30
Opening Reception: November 1, 5:30 PM– 7:30 PM
Bluffs Gallery at Scarborough Arts
1859 Kingston Road
Love Lives in Scarborough presents photographic artworks produced by LoveisLoveisLove (LLL) paired with personal narratives submitted by the subjects of the photos, highlighting the diverse experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals living in the Scarborough community.
This exhibit also features select Portrait Series of two up-and-coming photographers, Shingruf Chughtai and James Ip, who participated in LLL’s Photography Masterclass. Each of their works are presented as a series of portraits that can be seen to compliment Love Lives in Scarborough by continuing to shed light on the human experience within Scarborough.
ARTIST STATEMENT + BIO
Love Lives in Scarborough by LoveisLoveisLove
The Love Lives in Scarborough exhibition is a project which highlights the experiences of LGBTQ+ folks living in Scarborough. The exhibition features warm, empathetic portraits produced by the LoveisLoveisLove project. These portraits are juxtaposed against written testimonials provided by the subjects of the portraits. The testimonials speak to the particular challenges of being LGBTQ+ outside the downtown core, and feature experiences that are challenging, sometimes even traumatic, for the subjects.
The purpose of the juxtaposition is to demonstrate the dichotomy between public perceptions of LGBTQ+ rights and the messy realities that exist below these perceptions. The thesis I would like to get across is that while mass culture often celebrates LGBTQ+ relationships by invoking romanticized images of queer relationships, these images must be understood in the context of private histories. Can we truly appreciate a portrait of a person if we don’t understand the journey the took them to that moment in time? Can we understand a snapshot of happiness if we don’t understand the plethora of experiences that infuse that snapshot with the bulk of its meaning?
I hope that the contrast between image and word in this exhibition, between celebration and pain, can help people rethink the meaning of public images of queer happiness. I hope that by drawing attention to the private histories of my subjects, I can encourage a context-sensitive approach to consuming photography.
— Adam Zivo, Founder and Executive Director of LoveisLoveisLove
The photos displayed in Love Lives in Scarborough are produced by LoveisLoveisLove (“LLL”). LLL is an arts campaign that supports the LGBTQ+ community through the production and publication of empathetic content. The project runs a constellation of initiatives that are tied together by its signature aesthetic: two people being sentimental in front of a pink backdrop. Since launching in 2016, the project has digitally engaged 500,000+ people and been responsible for a number of largescale art installations, mainly in major Ontarian civic spaces. For example, in 2018 LLL reimagined Toronto City Hall’s rotunda as an explicitly inclusive space for Pride Month, installing 1,000~ square feet of content in what was one of the largest installations ever installed there.
LoveisLoveisLove was founded, and is currently directed by, Adam Zivo. Adam is a Toronto based photographer who has worked with clients such as America’s Next Top Model, Bell Media, and the Intercontinental Hotel Group. Outside the arts, he works as the Head of Partnerships and Development at the NATO Association of Canada, where he also specializes in cyber war analysis.
We Were All Made From Here by Shingruf Chughtai
As an outsider, how do you perceive me? Am I made up of tiny strip malls at every corner of the street? Are you frightened by the loud and dark violence that lurks between the cracks of me? Or do the mother tongues of my people intimidate you? Though I have been called many negative names and looked down upon, I am greater than these unpalatable experiences. My veins are made of valleys and beautiful streams that run between my forests. My soul is made up of the rich and unique cultures that cannot be found anywhere else. My air is filled with the unique aromas of traditional food that are found along my streets. My strong bones help me stand tall, and are made up of millions of diverse individuals that come from all walks of life. Where Muslims, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists and Atheists all come together to celebrate each others’ holidays. I am Scarborough and I will always be. No matter what you think of me, my people we were all made from here.
We Were All Made From Here is a photo-series that follows six diverse and upcoming women of colour who grew up, lived or identify themselves as a member of Scarborough. In this series, I explore the individuality and beauty found among residents of Scarborough, along with showcasing their accomplishments. It is often found that prejudice and negativity often tarnish not only the city’s reputation but also the individuals that make up Scarborough. I wanted to specifically highlight the fact that being a member of Scarborough and achieving your goals can be a mutual relationship found among the community. Anecdotes and narratives were collected from each individual, highlighting what Scarborough means to them.
I would like to acknowledge this land that this project took place on. For thousands of years, it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat and Petun First Nations, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River.
– Shingruf Chughtai
Self-Portrait Project by James Ip
As this portrait project examines the intersectionality of LGBT experiences and the geography of Scarborough, I decided to make a series of self-portraits since I am myself a gay man who grew up in Scarborough and recently moved back.
– James Ip