Arts AccessAbility Network Manitoba

Including artists and audiences with disabilities into all facets of the arts community.

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This is a promo advertising AKAYNA’s show at AANM Gallery, opening Dec 1, 6-9pm, also at This info, as well as the show title “Is this reality?” is written in plain white font across a stylized greyscale ‘landscape’ image. On closer inspection we see that the organic elements are created with fabric, and photographed with forced perspective to appear as a naturescape. The ‘sky’ is a dim purple, with a faint sci-fi grid superimposed. In large futuristic white font the artist’s name AKAYNA is emblazoned across the top. Along the bottom are the logos of AANM, the Province of Manitoba, the Winnipeg Arts Council, and Akayna’s website address.


Akayna is a Métis, multidisciplinary conceptual emerging artist and Emily Carr University of Art & Design graduate who practices chemically mindful art. They are currently working on a photographic collection with a grant from Winnipeg Arts Council. Their first group exhibit, residency, and tour in Manitoba was with Theatre Projects Manitoba in 2021. Akayna explores reality, perception, interconnection, circumstance, tension, consequential effects, and the intersections between these relationships. Through their art practice they express lived experiences with chemical sensitivities, broaching the industrial influences of commercialism against nature through an escapist view of the world. All works are conducted in a petrochemical allergy influenced, materially limited, and chemically mindful manner, pulling towards primarily photography-based art, while still exploring other materials such as clay, glass, and fabric. Akayna utilizes their photography, industrial design, and art backgrounds to create works that therapeutically live within the means of their condition as a person with multiple chemical allergies, speak about MCS, or address other current issues.


Is this Reality? Let Akayna explore worldly perception with you as they create a space of empathy and connection while addressing conflict and exclusion through their chaotic relationship to the world. More thoroughly they address the limitations of physical contact, thoughts on the future, societal expectation, and psyche. With this collection of works voice is given to those with conditions poorly understood, generally disbelieved, specifically Multiple Chemical Sensitivity/Chemical Allergies. These works explore the ubiquitous use of chemicals and their impact on the human body. This installation is a representation of Akayna’s dreamscape in which reality always seeps through. It provides a space for those with similar and different life experiences to come together while bringing an awareness to petrochemical exposure.

Akayna primarily creates photography-based works due to their minimal contact nature. Working in color and monochrome, they are sometimes more than just the images themselves verging on installation. By using different techniques from; composite photography, abstract focal selection, long exposure, on-location shoots, studio light setups, physical object manipulation, documentation, material exploration, to digital editing, they innovatively explore new ways to express their art.

All works are NFS, however prints may be purchased through

This is a series of three greyscale images. They appear to be stylized landscapes, but on closer inspection we see that the organic elements are created with fabric, and photographed with forced perspective to appear as a naturescape. They are lonely, windswept, surreal - rolling fields, roads disappearing towards the horizon, and single ephemeral tree on a hillside.
Material Landscapes (funded by Winnipeg Arts Council) 2023-ongoing 16″x10.5″ -photographic works built by creating fabric landscapes printed on Hahnemuhle Art Canvas Smooth 370gsm Paper
This is a grid of nine thumbnail photos. The backgrounds of the images are white, each holding a semi-transparent close-up organic image: spikey, bumpy, smooth, and swirly shapes in candy-coloured aquas and pinks and purples. They are futuristic and playful, bringing to mind silicone fidget toys, electronics, seed pods and medical supplies.
The Contaminant; V2 2023 13″x10″ -photographic images printed on Transparency Spy Film adhered to 6 glass slides displayed behind a fresnel lens
This series of four abstract images is ephemeral and iridescent. In cool tones of turquoise, magenta, black and teal, light shimmers and dances with shadows, like an oil spill on water.
When Overlapping Realities Merge 2019 18″x12″ -photographic images printed on Aluminum UV Resistant Panels
This photograph of a sunset over water has been manipulated to highlight cotton-candy colours. The teal sky is strewn with lilac clouds. Silver light lines the clouds, which shift to magenta and orange at the horizon. Below, the calm sea ripples with pink, lilac, and orange light.
Dream Sky 2023 51″x15.5″ -photographic image printed on Rag Metallic 340gsm
This photograph appears abstract because it is blurry, out of focus. In the centre, light has formed itself into two perfect circles of yellow and orange. On either side are fuzzy black forms, possibly a landmass. Below is a fuzzy blue expanse (a sea?), above is fuzzy pink, orange, white and aqua (sky?).
Natural Abstraction 2023 20″x27″ -photographic image printed on Rag Metallic 340gsm
This simple photo of waves lapping onto a pebble-strewn beach has been manipulated to appear dark and oily. While beautiful and iridescent, the tone is slightly foreboding; is this an oil spill sparkling on the water’s surface?
Oil Water 2023 8″x6″ -photographic image printed on Rag Metallic 340gsm
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