Blog / Tag / "north"



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.


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.

Nunavut’s Culture on Cloth: Traditional Inuit Wall Hangings from Baker Lake

Nunavut’s Culture on Cloth: Traditional Inuit Wall Hangings from Baker Lake

The Inuit women of Baker Lake possess a timeless skills of needle work that is truly reflected in this exhibition. Through bright fabric and colorful threading, the pieces open a whole new light on the lives and culture that reside in Nunavut.
The show is made up of 20 hand stitched pieces from the south central area of the territory.

This piece is entitled Tundra by Ruth Qualliarialik Nuilliak. Once entering the gallery this wonderful quilt like patch work jumps out to great you from the purple wall.  The colors are pastel and very gentle providing a lovely contrast against the furious purple.


Miriam Qiyuk's Snowy Owls is a playful piece. The 6 owls when closely examined, have an amazing amount of off-white detailing along their wings and a softer peach detailing on their torso. One cannot help but smile at the cock-headed little guy in the middle of the bottom row.


The North by Fanny Auvitute is a perfect example of the skill these women have.  Upon first glance I personally believed that the 3 diamond patterned boarders were a patterned fabric. It was only when I was able to closely examine the piece did i realize all the small details were hand stitched - I was simply blown away.

The exhibition, curated by honorary board member of the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association Judith Varney-Burch, had opened on Thursday June 7th to a wonderful attendance and will stay until August 25th.

Gallery Update: Sleep of Reason

Gallery Update: Sleep of Reason

The Yukon Arts Centre is proud to present Sleep of Reason in our public gallery. Derived from the title of a piece from Fancisco Goya's Los Caprichos, the gallery looks to address the concept of 'the artist as a dreamer' and the weight behind it. Showcased in a number of different medias, the artists let us in to their 'lucid dimension' of which they rely for their creativity and their means to illustrate it.
At first glance, it is hard not to notice the large spiral staircase winding in it's own glory at the far corner of the room but this piece is far from the most interesting in the gallery.

Joseph Tisiga's works - some of my favorites - are in the first room on the right. In the gallery he presents a series of watercolor and an oil painting on canvas. His use of color is very dirty and rusty - heavy with red and browns, capturing a sort of grunge look despite his clean lines. My favorites of his collection are one of his larger pieces titled Preparation for Utopia and the work that is featured as the poster for the gallery.

Rosemary Scanlon also submitted 2 series' of watercolor mixed media paintings - the titles of which being Shadow People of the Alaska Highway and Animal Icons. Animal Icons is a collection of animal portraits whose haunting stares hold your gaze as your pass by. Shadow People on the other hand deals with landscape views of near real places with a spiritual undertone. I personally get caught off guard as I see the vastness of trees and mountains.

Dan Sokolowski shows us the Degrees of North

Dan Sokolowski shows us the Degrees of North

Dan Sokolowski has crafted a beautiful film, Degrees North, taking viewers to places all over Canada--landscapes, waterscapes, airscapes, escapes. 

He's now created an installation you have to see to experience. 

STUDIO THEATRE installation: Degrees North

Dividing up his film into three distinct themes: air, earth and water---he's placed those images from the film on three separate screens that surround the viewer.  Feel free to sit on the bench in the middle, or walk around the outside of this installation and touch the sheets/screens.  Also, feel free to stand up and block part of the image with your own shadow.  Dan says, "It puts you in the picture!" 

I find it peaceful and creatively stimulating.  Sit there and relax and wherever you turn your head you see landscapes of the north, of Canada. 

Come see this highly interactive installation now.  It's only up till Sunday.  Sponsored by YFS and YAC. 

What MythConceptions about the North have you heard?

What MythConceptions about the North have you heard?

Seems every day we hear something startling about "our" way of life and "our" north.  We've all heard the one about a tourist asking, "When do you turn on the Northern Lights?"  Dogmushing to work, living in igloos, ---eek--the myths about the north still abound.  For me, it's the "Polar Bears living with Penguins" myth of the north that just makes me wanna scream.  (If polar bears and penguins lived together, penguins would be gobbled up in an afternoon). 

To celebrate the new gallery showing, "Untrue North," we'd love to collect some of these Untrue ideas of the north. 

Give us your comment below:  share with us the Untrue things YOU'VE heard about the North.  We'll collect 'em!  Keep coming back to see what other people have said--cause I can tell you now---this is gonna get weird and funny. 

And if you're up here at YAC's Art Gallery between Jan 12 and March 10 come see this great collection of art, curated by Earl Miller, that challenges what is True and Untrue about the North. 


(image presented above is NOT IN the showing--just an example of the kind of question we're asking)