Upper Tanana artist Teresa Vander Meer-Chassé has teamed up with Whitehorse-based artist Nicole Bauberger to create a scavenger hunt of installations and events this fall. The artists began collaborating a year ago around the idea that the shattered tire fragments you find by the side of the road resemble ravens. They began exploring the material’s possibilities in September 2017.
“Ravens are a distinct presence in the lives of everyone who lives in the Yukon,” Bauberger said when asked about what interests her about ravens. “They play important yet distinct roles in First Nations and non-First Nations society here, which I am interested in learning from and about. They are also one of the few wild animals who actually try to communicate with us.”
This past June, the artists spent two weeks in Bauberger’s backyard, developing outdoor installation ideas. They visited volunteer installation hosts and organizations to plan the installations in private and public yards. This work will be showcased with events and installations leading up to their exhibition at 13 different locations around Whitehorse.
“For me, it wasn’t so much Raven, it was the tire remnants and the highway itself that interest me,” Vander Meer-Chassé added. “When I occupy the highway’s ditch collecting tire fragments, I do it alongside the Raven – it’s a partnership.”
As part of their work, they offered public workshops in Whitehorse and school workshops in Haines Junction, Destruction Bay and Vander Meer-Chassé’s community of Beaver Creek last March. Ideas, stories and artwork of ravens were shared. A few pieces by the artists, as well as students west of Whitehorse, have been on display over the summer at the Da Kų Cultural Centre in Haines Junction.
Since then, the pair have created installations outdoors at the Yukon Transportation Museum, Yukon Arts Centre and Lumel Studios. (Ed. Note: Their work at Lumel Studios is profiled in the June 27, 2018, edition of WUY.) Each installation evokes ravens that respond to their environments.
As part of Culture Days, on September 28 to 30, the public was able to partake in the scavenger hunt or join Vander Meer-Chassé and Bauberger at other events throughout the weekend.The opening reception for Scavenging for Raven will take place October 5 at the Yukon Artists At Work Gallery. The show continues until October 28. The exhibition consists of an outdoor installation, as well as the gallery exhibit inside. The show will include large, more-conceptual pieces, as well as smaller pieces that will be available for purchase. For more information, please contact Yukon Artists At Work at www.scavengingforraven.wordpress.com.