Wayne Dunkley’s practice asks, “is it possible to truly know an other?”. Using photography, digital
media and community engaged actions, his inquiry provokes alternative conversations on how we
relate to place and each other. Rooted in ontology, Dunkley’s practice moves beyond society’s
default narratives to create a revolutionized way of being in the world.

For over 20 years Dunkley has used a photographic portrait of himself to subvert society’s default
tropes on otherness, blackness and being male. He uses this portrait to disrupt the spaces where
these stereotypes are found; online, within social media and on public-facing billboards and
hoardings. The poster uses Dunkley’s own face that has been altered to resemble pen and ink
drawings published in the 17th century Montreal Gazette. Slave owners purchased space in this
newspaper attempting to locate slaves who had escaped. By recontextualizing the escaped slave
poster, Dunkley references the history of slavery in Canada and the United States as well his own
contemporary feelings of being studied, dehumanized, and pursued.

Dunkley’s desire to connect with an other also extends to the natural world. He believes there are
cues in the landscape that trigger us on unspoken levels, stimulating ancient queries in us about the
nature of being alive. This is a different kind of empathy, one that understands our connection with
the earth is as important and elemental as our relationships with each other. Dunkley’s considered
approach brings new thinking to old problems and emphasizes personal transformation as a
strategy to address the pressing issues of our day such as racism, sexism, ageism, and
environmental apathy.