Laura Kay Keeling featured in Exchange Piece, 2021 DesignTO Digital Exhibition


Excerpt from When It Gets Dark I Have Shallow Breath photographed by Jessica Thalmann

Laura Kay Keeling: When It Gets Dark, I Have Shallow Breath
Featured in Exchange Piece, a DesignTO Digital Exhibition

January 22 – February 28, 2021

When It Gets Dark, I Have Shallow Breath is an installation piece by Laura Kay Keeling included in the DesignTO Digital Exhibition titled ‘Exchange Piece’. When It Gets Dark, I Have Shallow Breath strives to unpack grief and explore healing following the traumatic loss of her grandmother. Through experiencing loss as a lingering visitor, she practiced sitting with grief to honor her experiences and memories. In creating this work, Laura practiced care through her approach to the subject: care for herself, her memories, and in the selection and use of materials.

Exchange Piece’ explores collaboration as an act of care through an exchange between 10 early career and senior artists and designers working in pairs to explore how care in the creative process affects the way we relate and position ourselves to what we create.

The practice of care can be found in all aspects of our lives. From objects and places, to ideas and policies, and people and communities, care in the creative process affects the way we relate and position ourselves to the things we create and interact with.


Excerpt from When It Gets Dark I Have Shallow Breath photographed by Jessica Thalmann

Going beyond function and aesthetics, care is also a practice that considers our wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. Who or what requires care? How does our concept of care change in consideration of different practices and communities? What relationship can be formed through these dialogues between creators? What can one discover about their own practice through engagement with a different perspective?

The exhibition features the work of Khadija Aziz, Jennifer Chan, Leigh Dotey, Laura Kay Keeling, Kristine Mifsud, Moira Ness, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky, Amy Wong, and Florence Yee and Arezu Salamzadeh as the Rice Water collective, who are exploring concepts of care and coming together in pairs to collaborate on an exchange piece. This exhibition is accessible to those with a phone, tablet or computer with internet access. It features the solo work of each of the mentioned artists as well as their exchange pieces created with their collaborative works.

This exhibition is curated by DesignTO, co-presented with Harbourfront Centre, and supported by Lemay. Thank you to our external jurors Beau Gomez and Melanie Egan.

Laura Kay Keeling is a Toronto-based artist whose work encompasses analog photography, video, collage and installation-based projects. Her work explores how we form connections with each other and nature. Exploring and unpacking emotions through the creation of new work, while examining concepts related to “the visitor” as spoken about in Rumi’s Poem ‘The Guest House’. Laura feels very connected to and at peace in nature; her new works explore ideas relating to plant sentience and reciprocal care.

Sign up for her email list here.
Website / Instagram


Laura Kay Keeling wishes to thank the Ontario Arts Council for their generous support of When It Gets Dark, I Have Shallow Breath.

Laura Kay Keeling
Twitter: @laurakaykeeling
Instagram: @laurakaykeeling

Image descriptions:
1) Digital collage printed on satin fabric, the image includes orange, pink, red and yellow florals in the top right, behind on the left is blue, black and white imagery that looks like blades of grass and bottom left of the image shows brown rocks, white and brown / blueish water.
2) Mirrored floor with dark blue satin hanging behind. Dried burgundy and yellow roses and dried orchids sit on top of the mirror with dried green leaves behind. In front of the roses have a dried hornets nest with baby breath on top. To the right of the hornets nest is a glass display with a cairn of rocks and stones inside. Baby breath and a dried leaf sit behind the stones. To the right and behind the glass display is dried flowers and stems with an orange bud.