Pangnirtung Tapestries - 40th Anniversary
As these tapestries are limited editions, all works are available immediately.
It was forty years ago this month that five timid but intrigued young Inuit women agreed to learn the skills of weaving from the newly arrived and eager Arts and Crafts officer Don Stuart. For forty years they have been practicing their tapestry weaving skills, first in the old Weave Shop building and since 1990 in the Tapestry Studio of the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Crafts. This exhibition of Limited Edition Pangnirtung tapestries is a celebration of both the history and the growth of the ‘little studio that could’. So many women have at one time or another been trained weavers that Pangnirtung is literally a village of weavers including three generations. Their tapestries known for superb craftsmanship, delightful imagery and dedication to the portrayal of Pangnirtung art through tapestry, have been exhibited regularly in galleries across North America since 1978. This exhibition is a selection of nine tapestries spanning more than a decade and inclusive of the varying styles and diverse image choices of the artists. The original images on paper are by well known artists Malaya Akulukjuk (deceased), Elisapee Ishulutaq, Andrew Qappik, Joel Maniapik, Annie Kilabuk Jr (deceased), Sowdlu Nakashuk and artist/weaver Kawtysie Kakee. The weavers are Anna Etuangat, Igah Etuangat, Kawtysie Kakee and Kathy Battyie.
The Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio has grown and become part of an international group of tapestry studios specializing in large unique tapestries designed and woven to commission. One such tapestry, ‘Achieving a Dream’ was commissioned by the VANOC committee and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. It now hangs in the Richmond Oval. The Studio began accepting commission work in 1990 and has gained a reputation for their large scale collaborative works. Whether weaving Limited Edition tapestries or large commissions each piece is a collaborative work of art between the visual artist(s) and the tapestry artist(s).
Forty years is a long time in contemporary Arctic life; enough time for the ‘little studio that could’ to develop and grow, to blossom and flourish.- Deborah HickmanX