By Chris Healey
The Klondike Sun is pleased to introduce a new podcast feature to our community newspaper. We start with an interview with one of the many artists who have come to Dawson City to explore and create work about Canada’s westernmost city at the edge of the arctic circle.
Laurence Dauphinais, hailing from Montreal, participated in Dawson’s own Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture Artist in Residence program for the month of September. For an artist such as Dauphinais, concerned with themes of light and darkness, of remembrance and loss, of symbols that we cling to that ties us to points in the past, Dawson City is certainly appealing.
“It’s something that strikes me,” Dauphinais observes about Dawson City, “where everything is so conserved … it’s something that is really important”.
Primarily camera-based, Dauphinais sees an opportunity to explore these themes reflected in the very landscape surrounding Dawson. After spending a summer working here several years ago, she wanted to return to work with the season of the midnight sun, perhaps even the season of all day darkness, but through the luck of the draw ended up scheduled in the Klondike’s other season; the shoulder. Like any true artist though, this closed door was treated as an open window and Dauphinais busily composed photographs throughout the area night and day.
“I’m really interested here about the transition … this work will talk a lot about time.” Dauphinais comments about her KIAC residency work “and the transition of people here as well.”
Typical of an artistic residency, Dauphinais has to spend time working with the imagery she has created over the month of September before a coherent art project emerges, a process she will take up after she returns to her home in Montreal. What she has shared so far though has been strikingly haunting and rich imagery that straddles darkness and light, and for residents of Dawson City will appear familiar and alien at the same time. This work is not another shot from the dome but an astute perspective of the periphery of our community.
Listen to the full audio of our interview here and learn more about Laurence Dauphinais’ work in Dawson City, past work in Montreal, which artist has influenced her art and how her background in journalism has influenced her artistic approach.