Ben Evely and Nahanni McKay
January 13 to April 14 2024
Ben Evely and Nahanni McKay, Gopher in a Can, 2023, mixed media sculpture. Image courtesy of the artists.
The General Store is a project that surveys the commodification of the natural world through the lens of outdoor recreation and tourism culture. This initiative was started by artists Nahanni McKay and Ben Evely in their hometown of Banff, Alberta on Treaty 7 Territory – an international destination for tourists in the heart of Canada’s most visited national park.
This collaborative installation features playful reproductions of commodities that have become staples in tourist gift shops nationwide. From souvenir postcards to collectible keychains, magnets, and mugs, visitors will immerse themselves in a playful world of Canadiana. Through their work, the duo seeks to deconstruct cultural trends inspired by nature by exploring wilderness aesthetics and encouraging dialogue within outdoor communities and tourism economies.
Nahanni is a Metis-Cree artist and photographer based in Treaty 7 Territory. Born and raised in the Banff, her creative practice has focused on National Parks in Canada and the human impact on surrounding natural environments as well as the decolonization of land. She uses her art practice to bring awareness of the need to coexist with wildlife to prevent further harm to the land we reside on.
Ben Evely is a visual artist from Banff, Alberta, on Treaty 7 Territory. He primarily works with painting, collage and drawing, and often works collaboratively and on projects in public spaces. Ben often sources images online and through collage, making digital compositions prior to physical work and observing the transformations and distortions that happen while merging analog and digital mediums. A common thread in his work is the interplay of organic and synthetic. Ben currently lives and works on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, otherwise known as Vancouver, Canada.