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Artwork Wednesday: Landon Mackenzie

Artwork Wednesday: Landon Mackenzie

The Yukon Arts Centre would like to thank everyone who came out to celebrate the opening of Jim Robb’s Yukon and Locate: YAC Collection. The large turnout was a great testament to our community’s support and we could not be more grateful. In honour of the exciting showcase, we will be featuring a different artwork each Wednesday on the YAC Blog. What better way to begin than Cluny II: An Anniversary of a Yukon Summer Solstice the featured work on Locate exhibition posters, by Landon Mackenzie. This work is a great example of what the YAC permanent collection has to offer in terms of diversity and Canadian art.

Mackenzie was a regular summer resident the Yukon from 1977- 1983, her early work reflects the sum of her northern experience while living in wall tents and exploring areas from Keno City to Beaufort Sea. With the territory as her muse, Mackenzie depicts the harmonious relationship between the theme of local wildlife and motherhood throughout her Cluny series. The series combines her northern inspiration with the name of her first child, Cluny. It was in the Yukon that Mackenzie first learnt she was pregnant and began to confront the notion of becoming a mother.

Amongst bold brushwork, animal motifs are abstracted in a primitive style that compliments the raw colour palette of earthy tones found throughout this piece. The large dark central figure depicts a mother with her crescent back encompassing her feeding young. Cluny II is described as a departure piece that deals with the trauma of labour and new motherhood, using the vocabulary of northern creatures. In addition, Mackenzie chooses to portray solstice through a large golden planetary form that floats amidst a vibrant midnight summer sky that is familiar in the Yukon. The combination of which is very evocative, both in artistry and in magnitude. Cluny II measures 7 x 14 ft. in size, submerging its viewer in Mackenzie’s powerful composition. While the artist had stretched smaller canvases beforehand, in the weeks following the birth of her first child,  Mackenzie decided the size was not large enough to adequately express her experiences and thus used a doubled canvas.

Landon Mackenzie is currently based out of British Columbia, where she teaches at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.  Mackenzie pursued her undergraduate degree at NSCAD (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and masters at Concordia (Montreal, Quebec).

Gallery Intern Gabriella stands next to Cluny II: An Anniversary of a Yukon Summer Solstice the large-scale work of Landon Mackenzie.

 

Landon Mackenzie
Cluny II: An Anniversary of a Yukon Summer Solstice, 1983
Acrylic on canvas

JULY COMMUNITY GALLERY

JULY COMMUNITY GALLERY

This week we have been busy setting up Mapping Inuvik by Marie-Helene Comeau in the Community Gallery. This exhibition will be showing for the month of July and the opening reception will be held on July 10th from 5-7pm. Be sure to drop by, speak with the artist, and enjoy some refreshments !

Artist Statement:

Mapping Inuvik was a project that was started at the Great Northern Art Festival in Inuvik, NWT in the summer of 2011. While participating as an artist at the festival, I had the opportunity to incorporate an artistic project for people to share their stories regarding the North, specifically around the surrounding Mackenzie River region.

A quantity of satellite pictures of the area taken from Google Earth were used as the project’s starting point. These colourful images from the Internet offered unique views from the sky and provided evoking visual cues for the stories from the participants’ experiences via their connections to the various areas on the pictures.  The satellite images acted as launching tools for the participants to be able to travel back in their own histories as they recount migratory routes, rituals and family life some time ago.

This form of validating human histories and experiences with the aid of modern images from the Internet, offers a path to link the geographical understanding of the human presence with individual human stories and experiences in the Mackenzie River area.

Using people’s stories and satellite images, this series of drawings and paintings create additional dimensions to the human history of the North and the inseparable links to the land. We have the opportunity to acknowledge people’s shadows and footprints that may be beyond the capabilities of satellite cameras.


Bio

Marie-Hélène Comeau moved from Montreal to the Yukon in 1992 after completing a Bachelor Degree in Anthropology. She recently completed a BFA at Université du Québec à Montréal and is currently sharing her time between Whitehorse and Montreal where she is enrolled in a Ph.D.program at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Her Doctoral study will allow her to combine Anthropology and Fine Art with a community art focus that will explore the Northern identity structure, specifically the Yukon French identity.

Over the years, Marie-Hélène has had several art exhibitions in Whitehorse and had participated for many years in the Yukon River Side Festival in Dawson City. It is possible to see her artwork in Whitehorse at Arts Underground on Main Street.

Happy Aboriginal Day! Gallery and Box Office closed

Happy Aboriginal Day! Gallery and Box Office closed
image: "Artist and Musicians" - Jim Logan, Yukon Arts Centre Permanent Collection

Please Note that the Yukon Arts Centre will be closed on Thursday, June 21st for Aboriginal Day.

Our Box Office and Galleries will reopen on Friday, June 22nd at 10am. Tickets are available online (here!) or at Arts Underground.

This year, National Aboriginal  Day in the Yukon is truly momentous with the opening of Da Kų Cultural Centre in Haines Junction and the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse!   We hope you are able to get out and celebrate!

Here is a note from the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre:

Don't forget: everyone is welcome to join the drumming procession that will kick off our Grand Opening!

Meet in Rotary Park by 10am, and join drummers and dancers as you walk along the waterfront trail, and then welcome the arrival of the "Spirit of Awakening" canoe at the Cultural Centre!

A great way to get here, and be a part of our Grand Opening celebrations!


About the artist:

Jim Logan began his art career by painting social statement pieces from his own experience as a lay minister in the Kwanlin Dün community in  Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. The most important work from this period was a series entitled "A Requiem for Our Children", which described existence within the Residential School system in Canada. Other noted pieces were the National Pastimes series in the exhibition, INDIGENA which commented on Canadian apathy toward the hardship and poverty of the Native community in Canada.

Jim Logan is a founding member and captain of the Metis Art Council, former co-chair of the Society of Canadian Artists of Native Ancestry (SCNA) and a recipient of the British Columbia Aboriginal Arts Award and two Canada Council Awards. Jim Logan currently works for the Canada Council of the Arts as a Visual Arts Section Officer.