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Ken Anderson (Khàtinas.àxh) Yukon Prize icon 2021 Finalist

Artist Bio

Born and raised in the Yukon, Tlingit and Scandinavian ancestry. Tlingit family and traditions are the foundation of the art I practice. Training and inspiration is largely through informal self study of the form from old pieces. I have had the opportunity to learn from other carvers over the years through carving symposiums, festivals and workshops. I work with wood, metal, stone and snow.

I work in both a subtractive and additive sculptural practice.

Artist Statement

I believe that art is about passion and the creative process. I have always worked from a place of respect regarding my work ; it is a tradition and a privilege to work in the style and form that i do, i believe it is the responsibility of the artist to represent the culture in a relevant and respectful way as possible. Early in my practice it was about the craft ; technical details , symmetry etc… as i have continued on this journey it has become more about inviting the viewer in , suggesting thoughts and provoking thoughts. It has become more and more about maintaining my respect through the principles of the form while merging with the parallel path of society at large and asking them to participate in the conversation. Works submitted ; are a variety of concepts that are interactive ,educational and provide the opportunity for contemplation while still respecting the high standards of the foundational masterpieces which are my inspiration. I think these pieces engage with larger themes because they represent a living culture which has endured many obstacles. I strive to provide the opportunity for the viewer to interact , question and learn about the art , culture and history of an art form and a people while representing something that was not always valued.
Ken Anderson

Photo credit: Alistair Maitland

Ken Anderson

"Mosquito Becomes Me"

2018, Birch, Metal, Acrylic Paint. Part of “To Talk with Others” Show at Yukon Arts Centre

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The piece is about how we lose track of the original thing we opposed and soon become a part of that system as we are “invited” to partake

Ken Anderson

"I wouldn't want one in my backyard"

2018, Steel, Copper, Wood. 7’x3’x3′. Part of “To Talk with Others” Show at Yukon Arts Centre

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This piece was about the values of others and the realities that those values impose on others ; there are references to picket fences , death of culture and of possibilities . There are references to the things people turn to when a way of life is threatened as well as references to the things that are “ underground “ be it ideas , “progress” or external powers that be.

Ken Anderson

"Wolf Clan"

2019, birch, acrylic paint !8″ x 9″ x 6″, private collection

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This piece was about lineage and the link to a cultural legacy that has many merits and relevance.

Ken Anderson - “Ken Anderson Arts Centre podium”

"Ken Anderson Arts center podium"

2019, 2.5 x 4 x 2.5 feet, yellow cedar and steel

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This piece was a commission piece that was an honor to make as it was commissioned by a couple that have been tremendous supporters of the arts and culture in the Yukon and have represented the best of that spirit; the piece was meant to acknowledge the traditional peoples of this land while thanking people for sharing their gifts and talents while encouraging people to hold onto their own traditions and culture while sharing those same things.

Ken Anderson

"Raven Transformation"

2017, 11” x 7” x 4.5 “ birch with acrylic paint

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This piece is about transformation within the context of a story but also within the context of form: traditional form relies on symmetry very heavily , this form suggests it and asks viewer to complete the form within their own mind.

Ken Anderson

"Red Raven"

2017, 17” x 9 “ x 6”  birch with acrylic paint

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