Veronica Verkley


An interactive kinetic installation at the Parks Canada Macaulay Artist-in-Residence House

Inhalation:  A small group of animal forms built from scavenged plastic bags were brought to life when air was blown into them. Simple foot pumps (operated by viewers) inflated the figures. When the air flow/support stopped, the figures slowly collapsed back into themselves.   Inspired by recent world events: that COVID-19 is a respiratory illness sometimes requiring ventilators; that wearing facemasks is often recommended but impedes breathing;  that breath is Life, that George Floyd and Eric Garner cried out “I can’t breathe”; that it is our collective breath that unites us; that by conspiring together (con-spire = to breathe together, in-spire = to take in breath) we support each other and pump each other up.
Materials: scavenged plastic, packing tape, branches, foot pumps. 

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Veronica Verkley is a sculptor and filmmaker based in Dawson City who recently stepped down from teaching full time at Yukon SOVA to focus on her practice. Veronica shifts regularly between installation, animation & kinetic sculpture. From the mechanical to the ethereal, her work is centered on the gestures of animals, and on their experiments in navigating the strange environments in which they find themselves. Primarily employing industrial and natural materials scavenged from the surrounding landscape, the work explores the possible and hopeful beauty of the discarded and the overlooked.

Veronica Verkley