He Blossoms

by Corbin Elliot

Exhibition statement

Within the dreamy, psychedelic landscapes in North Bay-based artist Corbin Elliot’s exhibition, He Blossoms, male figures appear throughout intimate and tender vantages. By borrowing from the framework of queer ecologies — the interdisciplinary usage of both queer theory and environmental studies — Elliot is able to oversaturate the sociocultural and art historical figurations of hegemony, representation, and aesthetic conventions into his own formula, which instead renders his subjects as both otherworldly and soft. 

Elliot’s efforts to naturalize these queer glimpses of tenderness are offered in earnest as he recounts many moments throughout his life where his own failure to adhere to hegemonic masculinity caused much friction and turbulence. The softness and sense of security and safety throughout He Blossoms feels like eyes shut blowing out birthday candles, or the butterflies in your stomach when you see a bright blue meteorite cross the Northern sky. Elliot’s queer dreaming harkens to José Esteban Muñoz’s famous instance that we are not yet queer, and that queerness is something that we are working towards. The trippy use of violets, magentas, and fuchsias make clear that these are psychic reverberations in the artist’s mind, and certainly a queer utopia worth wishing on. 

Artist Biography

Corbin Elliot is an emerging queer artist. Raised in rural southern Ontario, he would travel to North Bay to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours at Nipissing University (2022). As assistant curator of the WKP Kennedy Gallery, Elliot explores curation alongside an artistic practice that is concerned with gender, sexuality, human connection and relationality. Largely focused on forms of drawing and painting that incorporate figurative subjects, he communicates imagery that idealizes, confronts, or conceptualizes aspects of our shared reality.

Using Format