Oxford Companion to the Photograph: Janieta Eyre


Eyre, Janieta, British-born photographer resident in Toronto, Canada. She studied philosophy at Toronto University, then magazine journalism at Ryerson Polytechnic University and photography at the Ontario College of Art and Design. She took up photography professionally in 1995. In her distinctive self-portraits, she frequently presents herself as a set of twins, engaging with the possibility of morphous identities and fictional doubles. Often employing fantastic and carnivalesque settings, she uses props and costumes to disrupt the fixity of image and identity. She manipulates the theatricality at play in her work by incorporating art-historical and literary references, while leaving space for the integration of fictional representations.


Eyre has exhibited her work widely including in Italy, Germany, Spain,Great Britain, Eastern Europe, South America, Iceland, the United States andCanada. Her solo exhibitions in public museums include a 2006 retrospective ofher work at DA2, Ciudad de Cultura, Salamanca, Spain. A solo exhibition at TheNational Gallery of Art, in Reykjavik, Iceland was held in 1999 and at the GalleriaCivica d’ArteContemporanea di Siracusa, Siracusa, Italy in 1997.

She participated in the 1997 Absolute Los Angeles International Biennalewith a solo exhibition and in a group exhibition which was part of the KwanjuBiennale in South Korea in 1998. 


Her work is included in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada; Musee D’Art Contemporain in Montreal; the Art Gallery of Ontario; DA2,Salamanca, Spain and the National Gallery of Iceland (Reykjavik).


She has participated in Scotiabank's CONTACT Photography Festival numerous times. "Janieta Eyre: Constructing Mythologies" was a featured exhibition of the 2013 Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival. Eyre held a residency at the Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, Ireland in 1999 and is the recipient of the Duke and Duchess of York Award in Photography (1997) and the Chalmers Award (2014).  

Coach House Press will publish Incarnations:The photographs of Janieta Eyre edited by Suzanne Zelazo November 2018. Contributors include Christian  Bök, R.M.Vaughan, Lynn Crosbie, David Dorenbaum

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