Over the past year, I have been working in collaboration with artist Nicole Bauberger in creating an exhibition of Raven-inspired sculptural works. I was able to secure a $50k Creating, Knowing, and Sharing grant from Canada Council to begin the development of the work. We worked separately on artworks that would ultimately be in dialogue with one another. Wanting to create art together, we worked throughout summer 2018 to prepare a 14-location scavenger hunt that began at the end of September until the end of October.
(Above: Series of photographs taken during the project and before of Raven and Raven markings)
During this project we have exhibited work at the Da Ku Cultural Centre in Haines Junction, Yukon in the summer of 2018, and the Emily Carr House in Victoria, British Columbia for September 2018. We are currently in exhibition at the Yukon Artists @ Work Gallery in Whitehorse, Yukon until the end of October. We are looking forward to exhibitions at the Grimsby Public Art Gallery in Ontario in the summer of 2019 and the Art Gallery of Algoma in Sault Ste. Marie after that.
(Above: Tire remnant Raven with zip-tie face in washer. This is an interactive piece that can be found at the Yukon Arts Centre)
Throughout the project I collected tires off the side of the Alaska Highway from Whitehorse to Beaver Creek and boy, were there lots! I found it to be a very dangerous venture. I would spot the blown tire, check my rear view mirror, pull over, stop abruptly, and scavenge the tire before another car came. The tire itself was very difficult to work with because it would get caught on my clothes, wrecking a few outfits. I washed most of the tires I found but I still couldn’t get the burnt rubber smell off of them.
(Above: Leather Feathers is currently on display at Yukon Artists @ Work Gallery)
I wasn’t entirely attracted to the Raven component because I find Raven is overdone in the Yukon, however, I could connect to the want to change Raven’s image. Being an Indigenous person that does not refer to Raven as Creator or Trickster, I desperately wanted to reshape people’s understanding of what Raven is and what it could be. I ultimately changed my own perception of Raven and began to refer to Raven as scavenger, finder, and protector and that Raven can teach us about community, cooperation, and resourcefulness.
For more stories and photos of this project you can visit http://www.scavengingforraven.wordpress.com