In Six Chairs in a Circle, artist Haruko Okano invites Ayumi Goto, Cheryl Trudeau, Elwood Jimmy, and Peter Morin to explore ideas of collectivity based on desire, love, relation-building, empathy, collaboration, and generosity. Learning from human and non-human living networks and systems, each practitioner shares knowledge, experience, and methods of gathering through differences and conflicted narratives deriving from the complexities of sharing an intercultural landscape. By exploring methods of non-hierarchical collectivity, this conversation aims to deepen our understandings of various value systems, and shift the way in which we come together in intimate spaces – at home, the workplace, and other social settings. The circle will open up for participants to join the conversation and evoke a sense of interconnectedness and belonging.

We invite you to join us for a reception following the event!

Event Note: There will be a free shuttle bus available to those interested in visiting 259 Lake Shore Blvd E on Sun, Dec 1. Seating is available on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Shuttle Bus Schedule:

11:30am: Depart 100 McCaul St, OCAD University main building
11:45am: Arrive at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E

12:30pm: Depart 100 McCaul St, OCAD University main building
12:45pm: Arrive at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E

5:15pm: Depart 259 Lake Shore Blvd E to 100 McCaul St
6:00pm: Depart 259 Lake Shore Blvd E to 100 McCaul St

Image Credit: Six Chairs in a Circle, 2019. Photo: Yuula Benivolski


259 Lake Shore Blvd East
259 Lake Shore Blvd East
Toronto ON
M5A 3T7

December 1


Ayumi Goto (born in Surrey, BC, Canada; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) is a performance apprentice, based in Toronto, traditional territories of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, Huron-Wendat, Anishinaabe, and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nations. As diasporic-Japanese, she at times draws upon her cultural heritage and language to creatively reconsider sentiments surrounding national culturalism, migrations, activist strategies, and land-human relations. Ayumi has made performative interventions in London, Berlin, Kyoto, and across this land presently called Canada. Her practice is deeply influenced by Shirley Bear, Roy Miki, Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Adrian Stimson, and Peter Morin.

Learn more about Ayumi Goto’s practice by listening to episode 4 of the Toronto Biennial of Art Podcast “Short Format”, available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.

Cheryl K. Trudeau is an Anishinabe CIS woman registered with Sagamok Anishinawbek First Nation, whose parentage comes from Wikwemikong Unceded First Nation and Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Cheryl is an artist born and raised in Toronto, ON.

As a child, she drew constantly. As an adolescent, she found her forte in fabric arts. Cheryl has been sewing since high school. She attended Toronto’s George Brown College for Fashion Arts. As a young adult Cheryl’s life assessment took her on the path of self-recovery of her First Nation identity through further educational pursuit. This second venture into post secondary education was
a successful, graduating with honours from the Georgian College of Applied Arts & Technology Native Community & Social Development diploma program in Barrie, ON.

Cheryl is devoted to the design and creation of unique, handmade garments, which combine contemporary elements with traditional Aboriginal regalia. Cheryl is committed to continual sharing and learning of Aboriginal cultures, heritages, traditions and protocols.

Elwood Jimmy (Thunderchild First Nation, Nêhiyaw; born in Saskatoon, SK, Canada; lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) is a learner, collaborator, writer, artist, cultural translator & facilitator, and gardener. For almost 20 years, he has played a leadership role in several art projects, collectives, and organizations nationally and abroad. In his practices, he has employed photography, film, video, storytelling, language, text, textiles, natural materials, performance, and personal & community narratives as the foundation for a number of collaborative projects.

Haruko Okano is a 3rd generation Japanese-Canadian born in Toronto, Ontario and currently living in Vancouver, BC. She was raised through the Toronto-based Children’s Aid Society, aging out of care at 18 years old. She is involved in environmental activism and human rights particularly focused on Indigenous, Black, and people of colour antiracism.

As an interdisciplinary artist, her practice is process-based, integrating her priorities of deep community engagement/peer collaborations, ecological sustainability, and decolonization methodologies. Her artistic intent is focused more on the creative process as a catalyst for change versus singular authorship or physical end product.

Peter Morin is a grandson of Tahltan ancestor artists. Morin’s work highlights cross-ancestral collaboration and deeply considers the impact zones that occur between Indigenous ways of knowing and Western Settler Colonialism. Morin’s practice has spanned twenty years so far, with exhibitions in London, Berlin, Singapore, New Zealand, and Greenland, as well as across Canada and the United States. Morin currently holds a tenured appointment in the Faculty of Arts at the Ontario College of Art and Design University in Toronto.