A black and white headshot of the artist, Nicholas Aiden


B. 1990

Ottawa, ON

Have / Hold (2018-19)

A Collaboration with Kyle Lasky

Our Favourite Spot (2018)
C-print, 40” x 30”

Rest Stop (2018)
C-print, 36” x 24”

Kyle Bums A Light (2018)
C-print, 12” x 18”

Kyle Bums A Light (2018)
C-print, 12” x 18”

Getting Ready (2018)
C-print, 24” x 36”

Wynne’s Back (2018)
C-print, 24” x 36”

Morning in Paris (2018)
C-print, 14” x 11”

Wynne’s First Buzz (2018)
C-print, 36” x 24”

Wynne Getting Changed (2018)
C-print, 14” x 11”

Kyle Putting on Shirt (2018)
C-print, 16” x 11”

Kyle at the Beach (2019)
C-print, 11” x 14”

Private Routines
by Allyson Mitchell

I know my most significant relationship through the intimate private routines that my partner and I live out, in the day-to-day, some that may even go unnoticed until we document them.

No matter the method, once the moments and actions are held through a photograph, they stand out as glimmers of potential as well as archive. They make our life real. Making tea, folding the laundry, putting away groceries, scooping out the cat box. These are the moments of our daily lives that, over a period of time, “make” our lesbian relationship intimate and known.

Getting dressed, lying in bed, lighting a cigarette, and hugging — these are some similarly intimate queer life captures in the series, Have / Hold, by Wynne Neilly and Kyle Lasky. The project documents a queer trans* romantic friendship between the two and offers a glimpse of some of the moments that make their connection visible. Individually, the images may not do this; it is through the collection and installation that the queer intimacy can be read. The photographs are embedded in each other on the wall for viewing. This mode of queer representation stands on the shoulders of others who have worked in this way including Jim Verburg, Sunil Gupta, Rhys Ernst and Zackary Drucker, Tammy Rae Carland, Laura Aguilar and A.L. Steiner.

Following this path, Neilly and Lasky collage the images together, adding the dimension, meaning and scale that move the work beyond the individual and private. A blown-up photobooth image, depicting their beautiful, goofy, full-faced grins, holds up the images layered on top and brings fragments of a story of a friendship. It’s the kiss. It’s the flirtatious eye contact over a lit cigarette. It’s the hot tub and the shower scene and the morning in bed that bring another layer of closeness that defies what we think we know.

As I document my own relationship and move towards an uncertain future, these recordings hold great significance. It seems so much more important than it ever did, to document a life and the ways we are connected.


Wynne Neilly is a Canadian, queer and trans identified, visual artist and award-winning photographer who is currently working out of Hamilton, ON. His artistic practice, most often, is an investigation into engaging with the queer and trans identity, both on an individual level and relationally within the community. Since completing a BFA in 2012, Wynne has continued to focus his practice on investigating and observing the vastness that lies within the individual identity and the outdated ideals of intimacy through portraiture and self-portraiture. Over the years, several of his works have been included in exhibitions at The Canadian Lesbian & Gay Archives; Gallery TPW; Joseph Gross Gallery (Tucson); The Art Gallery of Burlington; International Center of Photography (New York); Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles); The Annenberg Space for Photography (Los Angeles); and Sørlandet Art Museum (Norway).

Find more info about Wynne’s work on his website, and follow him on Instagram here.

Allyson Mitchell’s individual and collaborative art practice uses sculpture, performance, installation and film to explore feminist and queer ideas. These articulations have resulted in a coven of lesbian feminist Sasquatch monsters and a room-sized Vagina Dentata. Recently, Mitchell and collaborator Deirdre Logue presented Killjoy’s Kastle: A Lesbian Feminist Haunted House (Toronto, London, Los Angeles and Philadelphia). Mitchell and Logue also directed the F.A.G Feminist Art Gallery in Toronto and satellite spaces from 2010-2020. Currently, they are developing a permaculture queer artist residency in rural Ontario called An Other Way. Mitchell is an Associate Professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University.


Each artist was invited to choose a writer to respond to their work included in the exhibition, or in a few cases, the curator suggested a writer for them. All of these collected essays can be downloaded as a PDF document here.


External Links

Wynne Neilly and Kyle Lasky discuss the genesis of their collaborative self-portrait project, Have / Hold, with Craig D’Arville of FFOTO, a global sales platform offering curated selections of contemporary and classic photographic art from an international network of partner dealers and a handful of established, independent artists and artist estates.