Tuktu / Caribou
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This is a diverse collection and we would draw your attention to a small selection of the many highlights.
Master Carver Jackaposie Oopaka’s breathtaking ‘Fish Stories’ weaves a narrative in antler, moving from the real to the mythical and from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Jackaposie’s skillful storytelling captures an experience shared by men, women, and children alike, while its monumental scale and dramatic, fluid lines celebrate the centrality of fishing in Inuit culture and identity.
Papiara Tukiki’s ‘Crossing the Tundra’ is a refreshingly playful take on the arduous annual migration. Transforming the caribou form into a repeated graphic pattern, Tukiki dissects and reconstitutes the visual effect of mass migrations across the arctic, all the while amplifying the aesthetic possibilities of the caribou as subject.
Osuitok Ipellie’s bronze cast sculpture captivates with its harmonic proportions and elegant, graceful lines. Ipellie emphasizes the majesty of the caribou’s antlers as they reach towards the sky, while the rich bronze glistens in the light evoking the movement of caribou under the endless arctic sky. The bronze edition was the result of Osuitok’s visit to Vancouver for a solo exhibition at the Inuit Gallery in 1993. The director toured him about the town and one of their stops was at a foundry that does work with many local artists. Osuitok was captivated by the process and selected two of his stone sculptures to be cast in limited editions. One being a superb example of his signature sculptures of caribou and another of a hunter with walrus that still has some additional editions available.
Yellowknife artist Jennifer Walden invokes the strength of the caribou herd in her panoramic painting, ‘The Rocks We Walk.’ Set against a background of barren rock and lichen, and peering conspicuously at the viewer with an unflinching gaze, Walden’s painting evokes the heightened tensions between the hunter and the hunted, predator and prey.
As the recent decline in herd numbers challenge millennia of cultural traditions, Inuit artists have demonstrated a remarkable resiliency in the face of hardship. The respect accorded to the caribou is at heart a profound respect for the environment in which the Inuit live. Every piece in this exhibition tells a story rooted in an individualized sense of place – an emotional and cognitive attachment to the land, to which artists are bound by a symbolic relationship to the environment and its bounty. From Andrew Nowdlak’s delicately carved antler pins to Ningeokuluk Teevee’s exuberant drawings, the caribou reveals itself to us through the eyes and hands of those to whom it is most essential.
The exhibition opens at 10am, Friday, October 3rd and works will be available for purchase at that time. In the interim, should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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