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Esther Bordet Makalu -The Story Behind the Panels

Jun 3 - Jun 21

Esther Bordet Makalu: The Story Behind the Panels

Esther Bordet Makalu -The Story Behind the Panels

In 2020, I initiated a graphic novel project based on the story of a great-uncle geologist who was part of the first expedition to Makalu, Nepal, in 1954. This project is the result of a life-long passion for comics, combined with a prolific practice of visual arts since childhood. It is also inspired from my own travel to Makalu base camp in 2019, and by my experience working as a field geologist for over a decade. For the time of the exhibit, I am recreating the universe around my graphic novel, by showcasing documents and objects which inspired the creation of the story. While original comic pages represent the end result of the creative process, the core of the exhibit is occupied by maps, rocks, photographs, which all bear a significant meaning in the story, without necessarily being visible in the panels. The concept of this exhibit is to allow the audience to understand the process behind visual storytelling, and to experience reading a graphic novel in a radically different context. While a printed book represents the ultimate result of years of work, it is also a relatively easily attainable object people can read on their couch. On the other hand, the work featured in this exhibit is either unique (original inked pages), or does not fit in a book (3D objects). While the public may not necessarily be familiar with reading graphics novels, this exhibit constitutes an immersive visual experience engaging to a wide audience.


Esther Bordet is a mixed media artist living in Whitehorse, originally from France. While attending youth art studios in her hometown in the Parisian suburb, she had the opportunity to learn and practice a variety of media. She moved to Canada in her early twenties to study and work in geology. A few years after moving to the Yukon, her career took a different turn as she decided to focus on her artistic pursuits, particularly to create comics. Esther attended a graphic novel course at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, BC, and later a workshop at the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont, USA.

Since 2021, she has been drawing full time, illustrating topics ranging from earth and environmental sciences, to societal issues such as climate change and mental health. She is also working on her first long-form graphic novel, “Makalu”, after the true story of a great-uncle geologist who worked in the Himalayas back in the fifties. In 2020, her piece “The Explorer” was selected by the Yukon Department of Culture and Tourism as one of the six designs featured on the Yukon Tourism banners. In 2021, she published a comic in the Northern Gaze Comic Anthology (Hecate Press). Esther is also leading a collective Zine project with a group of Yukon-based illustrators.

Website: www.estherbordetpainting.com
Instagram: @estherbordetpainting


Arts Underground
(867) 667-4080
View Organizer Website


Arts Underground
15-305 Main Street, Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2B4
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2B4 Canada
+ Google Map
(867) 667.4080
View Venue Website

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