Devon Berquist (b. 1990) is a visual artist from Canada’s north, the Yukon Territory. She uses digital and analogue photography to explore the intersections of environmentalism, geography, identity and culture with particular regards to circumpolar regions of the world.
Her professional development began with a foundation year at the Klondike Institute of Arts & Culture School of Visual Arts in Dawson City, YT with the support of a scholarship awarded by the Yukon Territorial Government. She continued on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts, major in photography at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD U) in Halifax, NS. during which time she was awarded the Roloff Beny Photography Scholarship by the university.
Since then, she has been keeping busy freelancing and developing her artistic practice as a participant in both the Canadian Wilderness Artist Residency, a 735 km canoe expedition on the Yukon River, and the first-ever Arctic Circle Artist Retreat located in Eagle Plains, a small outpost situated on the Arctic Circle in northern Canada. When she doesn’t have a camera at hand, she can be found nurturing her interests in screen-printing, illustration, and filmmaking.
Through digital and analogue photography, I explore the intersections of environmentalism, geography, and culture with a particular focus on the circumpolar world. My work oscillates between document and fiction and often has both serious and playful undertones.
My upbringing in the Canada’s circumpolar Yukon Territory has played a monumental role in my creative development: hands-on interaction with the natural world is a key part of my artistic process as it is both inspiration and subject matter. This has brought me to Alaska, Iceland, and the Canadian Arctic, the latter of which is a large focal point in my work.
I am fascinated by social complexities of geographically isolated regions, and multifaceted relationships between humans and extreme climates. I am inspired by the fear, resilience, and creativity that are inherent to existing in inhospitable places and remote locations. My artistic practice is used to explore my own personal relationship to the natural world in addition to themes of place and displacement, identity, and isolation.