Janieta Eyre: Constructing Mythologies

2013, Art, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Temporary Exhibit
contemporary art, gender, photography, Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, University of Toronto
About This Project

Date: April 30 – June 29, 2013

Partner: Art Museum at the University of Toronto

Venue: University of Toronto Art Centre – map

Project Members: Orysia Goddard, Kristin Martin, Elizabeth Morningstar, and Rachel Wong


This exhibition features photographs from Janieta Eyre’s oeuvre that focus on constructions of beauty and sexuality in various stages of women’s lives, from girlhood to motherhood. As with many images of women that we so often encounter, Eyre’s work is highly staged but rejects implicit gender roles and offers alternative myths that extend beyond simple critique. As demonstrated by the evolution of her work, Eyre re-articulates how femininity is envisioned through dynamic and contradictory imagery. The tone of her work ranges from whimsical and aesthetically pleasing to grotesque, perverse, and challenging.


Visual representations of gender roles in a modern Western society profoundly affect the way femininity is viewed. Through her work, Eyre creates images that contrast with and challenge traditional notions of feminine beauty and sexuality.


Why Janieta Eyre?
“CONTACT exists to provide a service to Toronto’s photographic and cultural community, promoting the work of emerging and professional artists and photographers in Canada and around the world.”
– Contact Exhibition Guide, 2010


Janieta Eyre is an internationally acclaimed photographer and video artist who lives and works in Toronto. Her works have been likened to those of Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman – photographers who challenge our notions of identity as well as the depictions of women and other marginalized peoples in society.


Intended Audience
As part of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, our audience will predominantly consist of Toronto’s photographic and cultural community. Because the exhibition will be held at UTAC, a proportion of the general audience will also be students and academics.


Basic Timeline
The planning and execution of this exhibition occurred between September 2012 and April 2013. The exhibition opened on April 30, 2013 and closed on June 29, 2013.


Interpretive Format
Janieta Eyre: Constructing Mythologies is a thematically structured exhibition that will be organized in sections relating to different phases of the artist’s work. We intend to provide minimal interpretation for the works in the space. The images will be hung in conjunction with an introductory text panel that will introduce viewers to our thesis and each work will be provided with a tombstone label. Accordingly, viewers will be free to interpret the pieces for themselves.


Marketing and Promotion
We employed the resources at UTAC to assist with the marketing of our exhibition. Our exhibition was advertised on UTAC’s website and social media sites as well as advertisements in magazines.


1. Promote Eyre as an artist by showcasing her body of work
2. Facilitate a critical understanding of Eyre’s works by examining them in relation to each other
3. Create an environment where visitors may engage with a more dynamic view of gender roles and femininity
4. Support the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival’s commitment to “advancing knowledge, creativity, and innovation in photography.”