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January 15 to January 31


Toronto, ON — We all die, so why aren’t we talking about it? Taboo Health and the Health Design Studio at OCAD University are pleased to present Dying.exhibits: an exhibition series on end-of-life running during the DesignTO festival in January. Inviting participants to think about their relationship with life and death as a process, while encouraging heart-level conversations about complex and difficult topics, the exhibition gets comfortable with the uncomfortable, exploring death through the lens of art and design.

Tackling themes of death and dying, evocative objects and memory, caregiving, trauma and illness through cross-disciplinary approaches, artists and designers featured in the show include: Brileigh Hardcastle, Clara Laratta, David Constantino Salazar, Elyse-Krista Mische, Fiona Annis, Karen Oikonen, Kate Hale Wilkes, Sarina Isenberg, Kathy Porter, Laura Kay Keeling, Lydia Haywood-Munn, Max Suillerot and Mia Cinelli.

Dying.exhibits will hold a public, ticketed opening reception on January 17, 2020, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm, featuring an exclusive artist talk by Mia Cinelli, Assistant Professor of Art Studio and Digital Design at the University of Kentucky.

The exhibition will run from January 15 to January 31, 2020, and span the third-floor hallway gallery of Artscape Youngplace. A satellite exhibition, Dying.ruins, featuring the work of Toronto-based artist HollyJo, will run concurrently at Critical Distance Centre for Curators.

Artscape Youngplace and Critical Distance Centre for Curators are located at 180 Shaw St, Toronto, ON M6J 2W5. The exhibitions are wheelchair accessible, and open from 8:00 am to 9:00 pm daily. Please contact co-curators Michelle Beck or Dana Snow for more information regarding the shows. Information regarding Critical Distance Centre for Curators can be found at criticaldistance.ca.

In addition to the exhibition, community workshops will be held inside the Learning Zone at OCAD University:


Kathy Porter

What is a “Good” Goodbye is a collaborative poetry workshop facilitated by Mediator and Regenerative Design Facilitator Kathy Porter. In the programming, participants take part in a presentation around Medical Assistance in Dying and the option to control one’s end of life experience. After the presentation, they are given a policy document to cut and paste, using the regulated language to make room for their own synthesis of the material. In an effort to raise awareness around the choices we have over our lives — and in turn, deaths — Kathy Porter creates a space for much needed conversation around planning one’s own “good” goodbye.

Date: January 21, 2020
Time: 6-8 pm
Location: The Learning Zone, OCAD University, 122 A St. Patrick St, Toronto, ON
Cost: Free


Dayna Saba

Dayna Saba will be offering a public story-time reading her children’s book, The Tale of Mr. Dak. After the loss of her grandfather, Dayna Saba created the picture-book to explain the man who brought so much joy into her life to her infant nephew. The book explains holistic personhood of someone who has died to young children. Tackling death as an aspect of family life, The Tale of Mr. Dak provides an entry point for young children to express their emotions around the death of a loved one.

Date: January 21, 2020
Time: 4-5pm
Location: The Learning Zone, OCAD University, 122 A St. Patrick St, Toronto, ON
Cost: Free


About Taboo Health:

Taboo Health is a non-profit collective of health educators, designers, academics and creatives. We strive to explore complex, emotionally and socially challenging topics in health by using research to inspire and engage with our audiences.

By providing platforms for these difficult topics and tools for facilitating conversations around them, we create necessary dialogue in our community through the lens of art and design.


January 15
January 31
Event Category:


3rd Floor Hallway Gallery
180 Shaw Street
Toronto, Ontario M6J2W5 Canada
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OCAD University
Taboo Health