Devon Berquist (b. 1990) is a visual artist from Canada’s north, the Yukon Territory. Through digital and analogue photography, her practice explores the intersections of environmentalism, geography, and culture with particular regards to circumpolar regions of the world.
Her childhood was spent in the village of Mayo (population 214) after which she moved to Whitehorse, the territory’s capital. She spent three years at a theatre-based high-school program before graduating from the francophone school École Émilie Tremblay.
She later completed a foundation year program at the Klondike Institute of Arts & Culture School of Visual Art in Dawson City, YT with the support of an entrance scholarship awarded by the Yukon Territorial Government. This was followed by a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a major in photography at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design (NSCAD U) in Halifax, Nova Scotia during which she was awarded NSCAD’s Roloff Beny Photography Scholarship. She currently works commercially and artistically in Halifax, NS.
Through digital and analogue photography, Devon Berquist explores the intersections of environmentalism, geography, and culture with a particular focus on the circumpolar world. Her work oscillates between document and fiction and often has both serious and playful undertones.
Her upbringing in the Canada’s circumpolar Yukon Territory has played a monumental role in her creative development: hands-on interaction with the natural world is a key part of her artistic process as it is both inspiration and subject matter. This has brought her to Alaska, Iceland, and the Canadian Arctic, the latter of which is a large focal point in her work.
She is fascinated by social complexities of geographically isolated regions, and multifaceted relationships between humans and extreme climates. She is inspired by the fear, resilience, and creativity that are inherent to existing in inhospitable places and remote locations. Her artistic practice is used to explore her own personal relationship to the natural world in addition to themes of place and displacement, identity, and isolation.