Western Arctic Moving Pictures (WAMP) has completed filming the second installment for their virtual/augmented reality ‘Northern Sights 360’ project. The project will showcase a multitude of artists from the Northwest Territories crafting their artistic expressions while incorporating the natural landscape surrounding them.
The crew headed by Executive Director Jeremy Emerson and accompanied by Technical Director for WAMP Terry Woolf spent the last week of January in Tuktoyuktuk with local artist and renowned carver Derrald Taylor. Taylor, who grew up in the Arctic hamlet, spent a solid day in minus forty degree temperatures to create his iconic polar bear design on a block of snow measuring eight feet in height and four feet in width.
While Taylor is known for his carvings which are created typically from metamorphic rocks such as green stone or soapstone, carving a sculpture from snow was a first for him and a nerve racking experience at that.
In the week before the production, parts of Canada’s Western Arctic were hit with an unusual warm front which lead to rain and melting snow. This in turn created less than ideal snow conditions for Taylor to work with. When the plywood forms were stripped from the snow block, Taylor and local James Pokiak- who built the block- noticed layers of ice mixed in with the snow from the warm weather.
However, the less than ideal snow and relentless temperatures did not hold Taylor back from creating his polar bear sculpture as seen in the photos.