May 11 to July 16, 2023
Guest consultant : Napatsi Folger
The exhibition, in collaboration with Inuk author and graphic artist Napatsi Folger, presents the work of 20 Inuit artists:
Inuit art has historically been driven by the whims of colonial consumers. Throughout the 20th century, what has dominantly been most desirable to Southern art audiences have been objects and scenes that depict the alien world of the treeless Arctic wilds, traditional hunting, and Arctic animals or spirits from our traditional stories. But Inuit are not static, and we have grown with our changing society and environment, as do all people.
While there have always been creative and outstanding innovators in the Inuit art world, the changing face of the larger art market in the last 40 years has begun to make space for art about the topics that are interesting and important to us. Though we still love a good shape-shifting shaman print or long-necked loon sculpture, there are hidden depths to Inuit art, and they are itching to come into the light.
In this exhibition, you can peek behind the curtain (sometimes literally) into the daily activities, community celebrations, and workspaces of everyday Inuit folks and families. What struck me most when looking at and selecting the work was the incredible skill with which the artists captured real life. How poses, smiles, and expressions struck a chord in me that resonates home so deeply.
From the interior camp scenes of Shuvinai Ashoona, Moe Pootoogook’s stone-carved rock and rollin’ electric guitar player, the daydreaming, bear skin lounging children of Darcie Bernhardt, and the classic domestic sewing scenes of Siassie Keneally, this exhibition promises a new view of Inuit life. In ᐃᓗᒻᒧᑦ ᑕᑯᓂᐊᕐᓂᖅ - Ilummut Takuniarniq, we are given an intimate look at modern Inuit lives and how we spend our time indoors. After all, when you live in one of the coldest climates on earth, you spend most of your time inside…