Natural Connections / Liens naturels
Yukon University Innovation Centre
November 28, 2019 to July 21, 2020
Inevitable connections emerge in artwork created in response to the North, remoteness and the wild. Natural Connections is an exhibition showcasing 11 new acquisitions to the Yukon Permanent Art Collection. Created in varied media and from diverse perspectives, these works were selected on their individual merit. By paying attention to their intersections a group, we can discover preoccupations, events, and conversations that are currently informing the wider art world, presented here from an unmistakably northern perspective.
Tributes are offered in the form of laborious sewing dedicated to the spirit of lost loved ones, portraiture in recognition of contributions to one’s community, and drawing that honours harvested wildlife. Repetitive art making processes serve as meditative acts to process emotions and ideas and as an echo of natural rhythms in the environment. They are also a stark contrast to the ubiquitous and instant nature of modern life. The bear appears, as curious character, powerful mother and wild neighbour. Another recurring reference is the mother as a role model and giver of life and lineage. Nostalgia, memory and formative childhood experiences also play prominently across the works. There are reflections on human connection and disconnection with the natural environment and invitations into imagined settings: a mother bear’s home in the forest, the moment of sunset in a field of fireweed.
A CLOSER LOOK / YANKAKLÁTIN / D’UN PEU PLUS PRÈS
Carcross/Tagish First Nation Learning Centre
November 16, 2018 to April 24, 2019
How often do we allow ourselves the time to pause and enjoy a moment, an object, or a memory? This exhibition offers an opportunity to experience an intimate grouping of five new works by Yukon artists, recently acquired for the Yukon Permanent Art Collection. These pieces were selected from a wide array of three-dimensional artwork proposed by Yukon and Canadian artists. They represent a focused effort to ensure that the collection continues to reflect the diversity of materials, techniques and styles represented in the Yukon visual art community.
Behind each fully resolved work of art lies an extended process of gathering: assembling ideas and materials in order to communicate a sense of the world, return to a memory, or process ideas and experiences that best find their voice through a chosen medium. They can be enjoyed as aesthetically compelling objects but they also present an invitation to gaze into imagined locales, witness personal stories and celebrate tradition.
In Float Plane LP 282, Dennis Shorty sought to recreate a beloved childhood toy made by his father while at the same time processing the painful memories of that same kind of plane taking him to and from residential school. For Teresa Vander Meer-Chasse, Untitled (Resilience) began as an exploration combining traditional and contemporary techniques to discover something new, then evolved into a symbol of honour and hope for women who have experienced trauma in relationships.The Battle Between Octopus and Squid captures a frozen moment of struggle and strength rendered in a stunningly intricate carving by Daniel Benjamin Gribben. Lorraine M. Wolfe sought a new challenge for herself in creating Bear Mother Mask, using the central figure and principles of Northwest Coast carving to guide the design while intuitively adapting her process to respond to the materials and spirit of the piece as it progressed. With Boreal Reverie Brooch Tamika Knutson pays homage to the North as home and a beautiful, fertile place filled with tiny, exquisite spaces within big bold landscapes.