BY TARA McCARTHY
It all started with a journey. And it culminated into an exhibition of memories, textures and environment.
In August 2007, Yukon artist Joyce Majiski escorted two California-based artists on a tour along territorial waterways to the Lowell Glacier. Life amongst the ice and water inevitably inspired creation.
“They were here and they were awed by the place because it’s a pretty impressive landscape. It’s really immense,” Majiski says of their adventure down the Dazadeash River.
“That [art] wasn’t the intent of that particular trip, but I think just as a matter of course, it’s a place that is inspiring for anyone and for the artists particularly.”
The exhibition is titled Sublimation and is currently on display at Yukon Artists @ Work. It features Majiski’s artwork along with the work of Tim Graveson and Zea Morvitz.
Walls are covered with Graveson’s large colour photographs documenting the journey and Majiski’s small matted images. Two tables display handmade books created by Majiski and Morvitz. The books are littered with drawings, writing and cutouts allowing found rocks to peek through the pages.
“A lot of things kind of evolved as they went,” Majiski says of the creation process. “I knew Tim would have some large prints and I had some photographs I’d done in Banff a number of years ago that I’ve been wanting to show for quite some time.”
Graveson’s photos not only capture the expansive landscapes they discovered, but also the intricate textures of the rocks and land that surrounded them.
As both an artist and wilderness guide, Majiski says she’s noticed people often pay close attention to the phenomenal textures along the way.
“You’re kind of overwhelmed by it all, so what I think a lot of people tend to do is hit the details. And you’re going from this tiny rock, saying ‘Wow, look at the textures in this’ and then you look up and it’s such a huge landscape and it’s such a big glacier,” she explains.
Majiski and Morvitz mailed their handmade books back and forth leading up to the show, adding new layers and interpretations of the rafting trip, eventually creating a joint artistic dialogue of the place.
Morvitz also created a downloadable eBook component of the show, which outlines the exhibit’s theme of sublimation and how it connects with their exercise of diffusing experience into an exhibit.
“She picked up on the fact that it’s a transformation between one state and another, it’s from a solid to a gas, so she started to research psycho-analysis and alchemical applications of what sublimation was and then looked at the transformation between an object to an art object,” Majiski explains.
“It’s kind of like our offering to the world. A free piece of art … about sublimation.”
Majiski is no stranger to the environments explored and Sublimation has given her the opportunity to not only “resurrect” some of her artwork that correlates, but also see the place through the eyes of her artistic peers.
“It’s [collaborating] a really neat way to talk about issues. It’s a really neat way to have a voice and to affect change in a really non-confrontational way and to be continually creative and alive and to keep growing,” she says.
When they first embarked on the journey almost a year ago, Majiski says they set out “to connect to self through wilderness.”
According to Graveson and Morvitz’s artist statement, the trip unveiled a transforming environment. And one Majiski won’t likely let go of.
“This place is always going to inspire me and I think it’s always going to be part of my visual language.”
Sublimation is on display in the solo show room at Yukon Artists @ Work until July 5. Download the eBook at http://diffusion.org.uk/?p=344.
PHOTO: RICK MASSIE [email protected]