Jake Kimble Grow Up #1

May 1–Jun 30,  2023
    Jake Kimble, Grow Up #1, 2022. Courtesy of the artist
Jake Kimble, Grow Up #1, 2022. Courtesy of the artist

Artist Jake Kimble, a Chipewyan (Dëne Sųłıné) from Treaty 8 Territory in the Northwest Territories, combines humour and pathos in reflective images often featuring the artist himself engaged in acts of self-repair. Presented as a photographic banner on the streets of Toronto, this work speaks literally and figuratively to passersby, provoking contemplation through combined text and image that elicit the complex dynamics between power and vulnerability.

Grow Up #1 (2022) is an image of the artist, aged six or seven, taken by his mother and overlaid with text that reads “I was told peace was mine to keep”—the statement of a promise unfulfilled or a burden to bear. The phrase implies both that peace was his, and its opposite—that he was to be the peacekeeper. The work reflects the artist’s personal experience of growing up in a chaotic household in which, from a young age, he felt the burden of adult responsibility. The photo features Kimble wearing a cowboy hat, on his way to the Calgary stampede, complicating his identity as a Chipewyan (Dëne Sųłıné) child. In this work, Kimble subverts traditional dichotomies between “cowboys and Indians” and “parent and child” by playing both roles simultaneously.

Presented in partnership with Capture Photography Festival

Curated by Emmy Lee Wall, Executive Director, Capture Photography Festival

Jake Kimble is a photo-based Chipewyan (Dënesųłıné) artist from Treaty 8 Territory who currently lives and works on the stolen territory of xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish) and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. Most recently he attained a BFA in Photography from Emily Carr University of Art + Design while also holding a Degree in Acting from Vancouver Film School. Kimble’s practice mainly revolves around acts of self-care, self-repair, and gender-based ideological refusal. By doing so with a sense of humour, Kimble allows the audience to exhale, unclench, and even chuckle in spaces where laughter is often lost. Kimble’s work was featured on the King and Shaw Street billboards for the 2023 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival.