Exhibition & Artist Talk

Joyce’s Salt Spring Island studio (image from her website)

A year ago, before life had changed, I was invited to participate in an exhibition about humpback whales in Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada). I had the opportunity to meet one of the organizers, visual artist Joyce Majiski, and tour her studio residency on Salt Spring Island. The studio was full of drawings and paintings of whale bones, source/reference material, tools, a pile of colourful and worn Styrofoam and large vertebrae delicately placed here and there. In the centre of the room, between a couple pillars, were ropes suspending two sequences of orange and blue vertebrae. It was a creative space turned research lab. I was in heaven.

I have been working towards this exhibition over the past year and in October I procured a large cardboard box and packed my pieces off to the Yukon Arts Centre in snowy Whitehorse (Yukon, Canada).

Tide Lines, Natasha van Netten

Joyce’s sea-salvaged Styrofoam whale skeleton is now complete and hanging in the Yukon Arts Centre. Projection and sound are also part of her installation. She has put together an informative video about her process of creating the skeleton (click here for the video) and also created a video of the installation in place at the Yukon Arts Centre complete with the added lights and sounds (click here for the video). This installation, called Song of the Whale, opened in cooperation with a second exhibition, called Waters of the Humpback, which I was invited to participate along side two other artists, Irene Carlos (Guatemala) and Christina Luna (Mexico).

I created three works for this exhibition: an installation showing the bubble net feeding formation sometimes used by humpbacks, rotating drawings about the buoyancy of whales in water and a collection of 400+ tiny drawings of seaweed that change over time. If you would like to learn about the pieces I created for this exhibition, please click here to view the exhibition page on my website. You will find images and statements for the work on that page.

I am honoured to be participating in this exhibition which is very close to my practice and my work, and I am excited to be included in a free, on-line Artist Talk that the Yukon Arts Centre is organizing. It is happening this Sunday (February 7th, 2021) at 11:30 MST (if you are in British Columbia, it will be happening at 10:30am). Joyce and I will be talking about our work and Michael deRoos and Michiru Main will be talking about working with whale skeletons and marine biology (their family business, Cetacea, is based on Salt Spring Island).

Click here for more info about the Artist Talk and to register for the Zoom link.

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