Arctic arts meets international arctic-focused minds

Quesnel artist Judith Desbrisay's Polar Perceptions hangs in the Rotunda Gallery at UNBC May 20 – 26

Judith Desbrisay’s Polar Perceptions on display at UNBC Rotundfa Gallery during two International Arctic conferences

When you ponder the fate of our fabulous far north, you will be in the company of scholars, artists, educators, politicians, corporate executives, researchers, indigenous people and environmentalists many of which will be attending two northern conferences at UNBC May 20 – 26.

Also part of this illustrious gathering will be local artist Judith DesBrisay whose Polar Perceptions show will be on display in the Rotunda Gallery at the university.

Polar Perceptions complements the University of the Arctic Council meetings and the eighth International Congress of Social Sciences (ICASS VIII) at UNBC.

When Desbrisay first learned of the two conferences she felt compelled to offer her show which was readily accepted.

“I travel to the edge, gathering insight relevant to the interwoven nature of person and place,” Desbrisay said.

“My life, work and travels led me through urban, remote and rural settings in North and South America, including extensive and varied exploration of Canada’s High Arctic/Nunavut, Greenland and Antarctica.”

Her observations, photographs, personal sketches and journal records led to her creation of a body of work that speaks to her commitment to whatever action is necessary to re-establish and sustain the Earth’s delicate balance of life.

“I gazed at distant horizons beyond polar deserts and oceans; noted the lush texture of Arctic oases in miniature bloom in stark contract to the majesty of immense icebergs as they paraded through Davis Straight,” she writes.

“As an Arctic worker and tourist I joined the legions of explorers, missionaries, whalers, government agents, scientists and artists who seek to understand and exploit this last imaginary place.”

Her Polar Perceptions show is a series of diverse paintings whose images are governed by the changing nature of her Arctic observations. Her fervent hope is her works will prompt others to acknowledge the diversity of Arctic life and landscape; its strengths and its challenges.

IASSA’s first congress was held in 1992 in Ste-Foy, Quebec and has been held in various Arctic countries every three years since.

IASSA is an association of social scientists, humanities scholars and others interested in the Arctic and Subarctic. The eighth IASSA congress brings together several hundred Arctic/Subarctic social scientists and humanities scholars as well as indigenous and nono-indigenous northerners and representatives from various levels of government, NGOs and other organizations. The theme of ICASS VIII is Northern Sustainabilities.

The University of the Arctic is a cooperative network of universities, colleges, research institutes and other organizations concerned with education and research in and about the North. UArctic builds and strengthens collective resources and collaborative infrastructure that enables member institutions to better serve their constituents and their regions.

UArctic’s mission is empower the people of the Circumpolar North by providing unique educational and research opportunities through collaboration within a powerful network of members. UArctic promotes northern voices in the globalized world, reflecting common values and interests across all eight Arctic states and among all norther peoples and cultures.

With more than 450 delegates from 26 countries, Desbrisay is proud to be part of this very important set of conferences.

The Rotunda Gallery Polar Perceptions show is open to both delegates and the public May 20 – 26.

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