"Them Thar Hills"
Veronica Verkley, "Them Thar Hills" exhibition. Image courtesy of the artist, 2013)
REIMAGINING THE NORTH: A curious series of miniature dioramas by Dawson City based artist Veronica Verkley re-combine northern mythologies, natural history, and storytelling in a contemporary context.
The installation comprises 26 musty wooden boxes (one for each letter of the alphabet) that reveal a skewed 3D storybook world: a compendium of creatures, real and imagined, that roam the boreal forests and tundra, adapting to new-world situations as best they can. Rusty mechanicals, sound cues, tiny landscapes, and museum-style narratives combine to reveal the magical, hidden worlds of coyotes & sasquatches, caribou & ice worms.
Veronica Verkley is a media artist, sculptor and filmmaker who grew up in the wilds of southwestern Ontario and is now based in Dawson City, living and working in an off-grid bush cabin built with her partner. She has served on the faculty of the Yukon School of Visual Arts since 2007.
Verkley’s work is founded in a wide-ranging, exploratory approach. Ranging from the mechanical to the ethereal, her creations often address concepts of a mediated, technologically enhanced Nature, juxtaposing our romanticism of the natural world with contemporary technologies. Her extensive exhibition record includes projects that traverse the mediums of sculpture, film and kinetics. Past professional work includes numerous designs for feature film, television, and theatrical productions in the field of animatronics, art direction, puppeteering, and animation.
Her short film A Working Cat's Guide to the Klondike won the Audience Choice Award at the 2012 Dawson City International Short Film Festival and has gone on to screen at the 2013 Tromso International Film Festival in Norway. Her work is currently on view in Larger than Life: Contemporary Art from the Yukon at the Ottawa Art Gallery, produced in conjunction with the Northern Scene event.