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.
Using digital and analogue photography, I create narratives that explore the intersections of environmentalism, geography, and culture. My work oscillates between documentary and fictional fabrications, often in the form of series and multiples to highlight similarities and differences between landscapes, regions, or climates.
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 my 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.