Shuvinai Ashoona, RCA
(1961 – Present)
Daughter of internationally acclaimed sculptor Kiawak Ashoona and graphic artist Sorosilutu, Shuvinai was born in Cape Dorset in August, 1961. Perhaps inspired by the legacy of her artistic family, including her celebrated grandmother Pitseolak Ashoona, her uncle Kaka Ashoona, and her aunt Napachie Pootoogook, Shuvinai began drawing in 1995 and has since become a prolific and acclaimed artist in her own right. Her images first appeared in the 1997 Cape Dorset annual print collection, attracting the attention of the public as well as several notable galleries and museums. In 1999, she was featured in an exhibition organized by the McMichael Canadian Collection titled, “Three Women, Three Generations.” In 2016, Shuvinai was appointed to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Shuvinai’s work tends to be quite personal and meticulously drawn. She often demonstrates her close attention to her environment and her sensitivity to life in the north through her artistic practice. Shuvinai is also known for her metaphysical imagery and her exploration of symbolic motifs, which often unite traditional Inuit imagery with her experiences as a modern Inuit woman living in a westernized arctic. She continues to draw today, exploring new themes and challenging the way Inuit art is traditionally seen and interpreted.