Into the Forest
Tucked away on the Yukon Arts Centre grounds, Into the Forest by Doug Smarch Jr. beckons its visitors further into the foliage on a worn away path. Through exploring the notion of growth, interconnectivity, and what it means to evolve through the stages of life, Smarch Jr. brings to this site-specific piece the visions and stories of his rich culture and upbringing in the traditional lifestyle of the Kookhitaan (Raven) Clan People of the Tlingit Nation. Extending throughout the forest in a tree-like shape, the path wraps around the wooded area and leads to four rocks representing the four elements: fire, earth, water and air. Three boulders are skillfully carved respectively: a raven to represent air; whales, loons, seals and a fish to embody water; a turtle, human and bear to portray the earth. The final boulder signifying fire is left bare to emphasize the important, natural history that the volcanic rock holds. The interactive, outdoor space is meant to incite an explorative experience that speaks to humankind’s responsibility to be stewards and keepers of the earth.