Contemporary Inuit Drawings
May 5 - 29
The graphic arts have long been an especially powerful medium in conveying the various realities of contemporary Inuit lives to the wider world. This ongoing strength is strikingly evident in this group of recent drawings that the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver has the pleasure to present. Garnered from a wide variety of Inuit communities, the drawings in this exhibition blend the rich heritage of traditional Inuit mythology and storytelling with unique expressions of self by individual artists.
Cape Dorset is certainly one of the best known communities. Its rich history of drawings and prints began to flourish in the 1950’s and continues to this day. Dorset is generously represented by such recognized artists as Jutai Toonoo, Shuvani Ashoona and Ningiukulu Teevee to point out only three. Jutai’s work oscillates between the highly personal; often motivated by political issues, to depictions of the traditional spiritual world and sublime renderings of the landscape that surrounds the community. Shuvinai Ashoona is another artist whose work documents the transition of every-day life in Arctic communities from a deeply personal perspective. The result can be powerful and sometimes challenging visualizations of her own life or topographic drawings that combine real surroundings with her own fantastic imagination. Powerful new drawings by Ningiukulu Teevee are also included and build on the pieces that she created for her recent solo show with us, Beyond the Surface. Her imagery is inspired in large proportion from the oral legends of the Inuit that were used to impart the wisdom of the generations that allowed the Inuit to survive in one of the world’s most difficult environments. Equally striking are her works depicting the animals that share that environment, these are often filled with great whimsy.
We are also very pleased to present a very select number of drawings by Jianiva LaPage who creates stunning portraits of individuals in her community using a pointillism style technique. Jianiva works from photographs, primarily of people she knows so there is a very personal connection in all of her works. Her drawings have all the hallmarks of hyperrealism that is a feature of many of Canada’s most celebrated artists.
From Baker Lake we are delighted to have works from old favourites who are sadly no longer with us. Both Simon Tookoome and Janet Kigusiuk were rightly celebrated during their lifetimes and their magic is very much alive in the selected works we have been able to acquire.
Please take a moment to scroll through the many offerings available. All works are available for immediate purchase and we will be pleased to answer any questions you might have.