Inuit Art Quarterly - Futures: Groundbreaking North

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ᐃᓄᖕᓂᖔᖅᑐᑦ ᐃᓄᐃᑦ ᓴᓇᖕᖑᐊᖅᓯᒪᔭᑦ ᐊᒻᒪᓗ ᑕᐅᑦᑐᖏᓐᓂᑦ Inuknigaaqtut Inuit Sanaguaqsimajangit ammalu Tautunnginit Contemporary Inuit Art & Perspectives


Groundbreaking North

Join — Feel — Jump Arctic Games in the Digital Age — Northern Imagining Youth Murals from Kinngait — Siassie Kenneally My Life in 8 Parts



Inuit Art Quarterly Futures




02 Contributors

24 Kinngait in Scale: Embassy of the Imagination and the Next Generation of Inuit Artists



03 From the Editor 06 Message from the Board 06 Foundation News 5 WORKS

10 Creating Inuit Futures HIGHLIGHTS

12 A sneak peek at some current

and upcoming exhibitions and projects. CHOICE

16 Floyd Kuptana by Richard D. Mohr CHOICE

18 Samonie Toonoo by Kyra Vladykov Fisher

Brightly coloured walls featuring the unmistakable aesthetics of this iconic artmaking community have been popping up recently in Southern Canadian cities, including Toronto and Ottawa. The artists behind these monumental murals might surprise you.

by Matthew Ryan Smith

32 Finding Magic: The Future/Ancient of Allison Akootchook Warden

Somewhere between digitally manipulated caches of archival photographs, Twitter poetry and neonhued, 3D-printed historical objects, this Iñupiaq artist, based in Anchorage, Alaska, has created a world that begins where the future ends.

by Priscilla Naunġaġiaq Hensley Holthouse


Page 32 Allison Akootchook Warden draws on rich archives to create new worlds.

In the spring of 1970, a landmark exhibition opened in Winnipeg, MB, signalling the start of a monumental change for the world of Inuit art.

by John Geoghegan REVIEW


Carving Home: The Chedoke Collection of Inuit Art Art Gallery of Hamilton

by Caitlin Sutherland REVIEW

60 Dorset Seen Catalogue Carleton University Art Gallery by Elisha Lim REVIEW

62 The Breathing Hole The Stratford Festival by Jessica Kotierk


20 Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter by Britt Gallpen

Paving the Way Forward Tiktak: An Artist and His Work


40 All the Things That I Have Seen: An Interview with Siassie Kenneally

This Kinngait-based graphic artist is best known for her dense illustrations, steeped in personal histories and rendered from memory. This interview, conducted earlier this year and presented in English and Inuktut, focuses on a single, exceptional work that intimately documents a life lived, in all its striking detail.


Barnabus Arnasungaaq Terry Ryan Mary Yuusipik Singaqti Samonie Toonoo


68 Heather Campbell

by Patricia Feheley

46 The Quest for New Arctic Visions: Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) and Indigenous Digital Storytelling

In 2011, the Cook Inlet Tribal Council embarked on an ambitious project: building a video game that captures the richness and vibrancy of Iñupiaq culture in the digital realm. The result has captured global attention, while celebrating local roots.




Qanuqtuurniq 2016 An Embassy of Imagination mural project, produced by MU PHOTO COURTESY OF OLIVIER BOUSQUET/MU






Patricia Feheley

The Inuit Art Quarterly is published by the Inuit Art Foundation.

Executive Director and Publisher Alysa Procida

Patricia Feheley is the Owner and Director of Feheley Fine Arts and current board member of the Inuit Art Foundation. A champion of emerging contemporary Inuit artists, over the last decade Feheley has spearheaded the gallery’s ongoing program of catalogued exhibitions and has worked extensively with artists such as Annie Pootoogook, Jutai Toonoo, Tim Pitsiulak and Shuvinai Ashoona. She is also a member of the Canadian Cultural Properties Export Review Board (CCPERB). PAGE 40

Established in 1987, the Inuit Art Foundation is a not-for-profit charitable organization that provides support to Canada’s Inuit arts communities and is the sole national body mandated to promote Inuit artists and art within Canada and internationally. This magazine relies on donations made to the Inuit Art Foundation, a registered charitable organization in Canada (BN #121033724RR0001) and the United States (#980140282). The Inuit Art Foundation gratefully acknowledges the support of the Government of Canada through contributions from the Inuit Relations Directorate, Northern Governance Branch, Northern Affairs Organization at Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Subscriptions Canada: $33/yr. Excludes GST/HST. US: $44/yr. Elsewhere: $48/yr. GST/HST #121033724RT0001. Inuit Art Quarterly is a member of Magazines Canada. Publication date of this issue: December 5, 2017 ISSN 0831-6708 Publication Mail Agreement #40050252 Postmaster send address changes to Inuit Art Foundation. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Inuit Art Foundation 215 Spadina Avenue, Suite 400 Toronto, ON, M5T 2C7 (647) 498-7717 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE PUBLISHER IS STRICTLY FORBIDDEN. THE INUIT ART QUARTERLY IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR UNSOLICITED MATERIAL. THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THE INUIT ART QUARTERLY ARE NOT NECESSARILY THOSE OF THE EDITORS OR THE INUIT ART FOUNDATION. PRINTED IN CANADA. DISTRIBUTED BY MAGAZINES CANADA. FROM TIME TO TIME WE MAKE OUR SUBSCRIBERS’ NAMES AVAILABLE TO COMPANIES WHOSE PRODUCTS OR SERVICES WE FEEL MAY BE OF INTEREST TO YOU. TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THESE MAILINGS, PLEASE SEND YOUR REQUEST, ALONG WITH A COPY OF YOUR SUBSCRIPTION MAILING LABEL TO THE ADDRESS ABOVE.

Editor Britt Gallpen Assistant Editor and Circulation Manager John Geoghegan Copy Editor Simone Wharton Editorial Assistant Claire Christopher Advertising Nicholas Wattson Design Tung

Priscilla Naunġaġiaq Hensley Holthouse

Colour Gas Company Printing Sonic Print

Priscilla Naunġaġiaq Hensley Holthouse has roots in Kotzebue and Anchorage, Alaska, where she lives with her family. Her writing has appeared in First Alaskans Magazine and Forum Magazine, as well as Tales from the Dark Side of the City: Snowing in the Supercomputer (London: Unknown Fields, 2016) and North: Finding Place in Alaska (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2017). She is also a contributor to two upcoming documentary film projects: Tupik Mi, about Inuit tattooing, and WE UP, about northern Indigenous hip-hop artists. PAGE 32

— Programs Coordinator Camille Usher Inuit Artist Database Program Coordinator Ashley McLellan Inuit Artist Database Program Officer Rebecca Gray Inuit Artist Database Program Officer Valeriya Kotsyuba Igloo Tag Program Coordinator Bryan Winters

Siassie Kenneally



Siassie Kenneally began drawing in 2004. Known for detailed works imbued with storytelling, her work has been featured in Ashoona: The Third Wave, New Drawings by Shuvinai Ashoona, Siassie Kenneally and Annie Pootoogook (2006) at the Art Gallery of Alberta and Annie Pootoogook: Cutting Ice (2017–18) at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Kenneally is part of an artistic family lineage; she is the daughter of Qaqaq Ashoona and Mayoreak Ashoona, the granddaughter of Pitseolak Ashoona and the cousin of Shuvinai Ashoona and Annie Pootoogook. Born in Iqalugajuk, she now lives and works in Kinngait. PAGE 40

Mary Dailey Desmarais Sarah Milroy Taqralik Partridge

Matthew Ryan Smith

President Mathew Nuqingaq | Iqaluit, NU Chair Sammy Kudluk | Kuujjuaq, QC Secretary-Treasurer Beatrice Deer | Montreal, QC Jamie Cameron | Toronto, ON Patricia Feheley | Toronto, ON Heather Igloliorte | Montreal, QC Helen Kaloon | Uqsuqtuuq, NU Jimmy Manning | Kinngait, NU —

Matthew Ryan Smith, PhD, is the Curator of the Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant in Brantford, ON, and Literary Editor of First American Art Magazine. He is also a writer and sessional lecturer of Indigenous art at the University of Toronto Mississauga. Smith has published extensively on art and visual culture in publications including Canadian Art, Border Crossings, Prefix Photo, esse arts + opinions and Briarpatch, among many others. PAGE 24


Inuit Art Quarterly


Winter 2017


Turn to page 46 to learn about the video game that is changing an industry. ILLUSTRATION BY DIMA VERYOVKA

Publishing an issue on “Futures” poses an interesting series of challenges, balanced, of course, by opportunity. How do we even begin to capture all of the innovative and boundary-pushing work being produced by Inuit today? This issue, conceived as a companion to and extension of our Fall 2017 Anniversary issue, builds on the solid foundation of creative pursuits in years past, while also looking ahead to the exciting future of the field. Today, Inuit artists, who have always been earlyadopters and adapters of new technologies, are availing themselves of an ever-broadening range of materials and techniques to produce critical, engaging and forwardthinking work. And perhaps more so than forward-looking, Inuit artists are producing artwork that is future creating. It is what scholar Jason Edward Lewis terms the future imaginary, a concept which “seeks to capture the ways people imagine the futures of their societies.” He continues, “One can think of the future imaginary as a distinct part of the current ‘social imaginary,’ described by Charles Taylor as ‘the way ordinary people ‘imagine’ their social surroundings… not expressed in theoretical terms, but carried in images, stories, and legends.’ It forms the popular vocabulary that we use to describe what we see when we see the future.”¹ In the following pages, you will encounter artists whose practices are visualizing these futures and who refuse to sit tidily within disciplinary confines. These are artists who occupy both public and private spaces, pulling the edges of the white cube into the streets and onto the screen. They continue to engineer new forms atop the scaffolding of archives and traditional knowledge and stories, while foregrounding the continuity of narrative and community that has held the centre of Inuit art since the beginning. Finally, they are but a small sampling of artists who are radically changing the face of the field. Our Features section opens with a look at the next generation of Kinngait, NU, artists—a talented group of youth who have yet to graduate high school but whose robust and confident graphic

sensibilities point to promising careers in the making. Anchorage, Alaska-based Allison Akootchook Warden, who reimagines historic photographs as otherworldly spaces and harnesses the power of digital media to craft alternate realms, is highlighted in a feature by Priscilla Naunġaġiaq Hensley Holthouse. In a sweeping interview with Patricia Feheley, graphic artist Siassie Kenneally meticulously narrates a her work All the Things That I Have Seen (2016). Intimate and illustrative, this work captures the full scope of the artist’s visual vernacular within a micro-universe, marrying traditional life with the relentless and accelerating pace of change since Contact. Finally, we move from the page to the screen in “The Quest for New Arctic Visions: Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) and Indigenous Digital Storytelling”. This Portfolio documents the evolution from development to launch of a groundbreaking video game, produced by the Cook Inlet Tribal Council of Alaska. Across film, virtual reality and installation to performance, music, works on paper and sculpture, Inuit artists are creating tomorrow, today. I hope you enjoy this small glimpse into these new worlds. Britt Gallpen Editor


In our Fall 2017 issue a photo of Sylvia Ivalu was misidentified as Lucy Tulugarjuk. We sincerely apologize for the error.



¹ Jason Edward Lewis, “A Brief (Media) History of the Indigenous Future,” PUBLIC 27, 54 (December 2016): 36.





“As the winter sets in, some of us artists are slowing down a bit. This time of year makes me thankful for our supporters; many of you have been with us for years. Your generosity means so much to us. Thank you for investing in the future of Inuit art and artists. You are an indispensable part of our team!”


Sustainers $5,000+ Christopher Bredt and Jamie Cameron John and Joyce Price The Herb and Cece Schreiber Foundation (Publications) and one anonymous supporter

$2,500–$4,999 Informa Canada (Publications)

$1,000–$2,499 Susan M. Carter Christina Parker Gallery (Publications) Andrew Chodos Donald and Pat Dodds The Fath Group/O’Hanlon Paving Ltd. Patricia Feheley (Endowment and KAMF) David Forrest Inuit Art Society (Publications) Katarina Kupca David and Liz Macdonald

$500–$999 Shary Boyle Arthur Drache, CM, QC Janice Gonsalves Erik Haites Alysa Procida and Kevin Stewart

Inuit Art Quarterly


You, the generous donors listed below, ensure the Inuit Art Quarterly is published and that artists throughout Inuit Nunangat are supported and celebrated. Your endof-year gift provides stable funding for our programs year-round and supports the exciting future of Inuit art. The Inuit Art Foundation relies on the generous support of donors like you to do this important work and is pleased to recognize donors who have contributed between September 2016 and September 2017. Thank you so much! $250–$499 L.E. Cleman (Publications) Louis Jungheim and Thalia Nicas, in honour of Thomas Webster (Publications) Joyce Keltie Charles Kingsley Richard Mohr, in honour of Heather Beecroft (Publications) Margaret Newall Robin and David Procida Michael and Melanie Southern Barbara Turner Jaan Whitehead David and Catherine Wilkes (Endowment) Norman Zepp and Judith Varga

$100–$249 Heather Beecroft (Publications) Christel Bieri (Publications) Karen Brouwers, in honour of Elisapee Ishulutaq Tobi Bruce Denise Cargill Celia Denov Ginette Dumouchel, in honour of Tommy Niviaxie (KAMF and Publications) Jon Eliassen Carol Ann Ellett (KAMF) Lyyli Elliott Leah Erickson and Maureen Bereskin, in honour of Alistair and Andrew Alain Fournier Ed Friedman Britt Gallpen and Travis Vakenti


Judith Gavin Nelson Graburn, in honour of Katsuak Tumasi Mark Gustafson Dr. James M. Harris Carol Heppenstall Mark Igloliorte Rosi and David Jory William Kemp A.B. Kliefoth, MD (Endowment) Maija M. Lutz Elizabeth McKeown Nancy Moore Michael J. Noone Leon Oberlander Christa Ouimet and Woody Brown (Endowment) Donald Penrose Ann Posen Philip and Kathleen Power Victoria Prince Paula Santrach TELUS Hunter Thompson Jay Thomson (Publications) Roslyn Tunis (Publications) Gail Vanstone Manon Vennat James Vesper William Webster (Endowment) Claude M. Weil, in honour of Jim Shirley (Endowment) Scott White Mark and Marie Zivin and one anonymous supporter (KAMF)

Winter 2017


Friends of the Foundation Mary Anglim Catherine Badke Eric Barnum Susan Baum Catherine Black Terry Channell Anne-Marie Danizio Celia Denov Lisa Eisen, in honour of Tiiu Strutt Leslie Eisenberg Claire S. Gold Alan and Paula Goldstein Karen and David Gorsline John A. Hanjian Mary Hanson Louisa Hollinshead Albert Holthuis (Publications) Dallas Hunt, in honour of Annie Pootoogook Heather Igloliorte Laurence Jacobs Chantal Junod Jo-Ann R. Kolmes Laura MacDonald Catherine Madsen, in honour of Thomas and Winifred Madsen (KAMF) Robert Michaud Suzanne Nash (KAMF) Gary Nelson Hal Olsen Prue Rains Blaine Rapp Diane Ravenscroft Leslie Reid Wendy Rittenhouse Enid Rokaw Sheila Romalis Anita Romaniuk Karine Schweitzer-Bordes Mari Shantz Scenery Slater Gregory and Lisa Sonek Ann Sprayregen Waddington’s Auctioneers & Appraisers (Endowment) Michael Wiles and three anonymous supporters (KAMF)

Why I Give “ We have been collectors for 60 years. We see that our donation to the Inuit Art Foundation supports the artists we love and the art we collect. Our monthly gift is the best way for us to help sustain an undertaking that we think is important and worthwhile.” DONALD AND PAT DODDS

Give the gift that always fits! To learn more about donating on behalf of a friend or loved one visit:

Please Consider Supporting the Next 30 Years: How You Can Help Donations are essential to the programs that promote and celebrate Inuit art and artists. As a registered charitable organization in Canada (BN #121033724RR0001) and the United States (#980140282), the Inuit Art Foundation welcomes donations, sponsorships, legacy gifts and in-kind contributions. The Inuit Art Foundation wants to hear from you! Contact us at: or 647-498-7717. Qavavau Manumie (b. 1958 Kinngait) — BELOW

Christmas Tree 2006/7 Coloured pencil and ink 50.8 × 66 cm COURTESY FEHELEY FINE ARTS

Bequests Virginia Watt Perpetual Trust








Since I began my tenure as a board member of the Inuit Art Foundation, I have met and sat with people from different backgrounds, who come from every corner of the Canadian Arctic, and all of whom are dedicated to the success and growth of Inuit art. I have been inspired by my fellow board members’ passion, as well as the exceptional staff, who give their time and effort to artists across Inuit Nunangat to become great, to be respected and to be represented as they should be for their work. Over the past two years, the Foundation has experienced some extraordinary achievements, such as a dramatic increase in the number of subscribers to the Inuit Art Quarterly, the transfer of the Igloo Tag Trademark to the Foundation from the Government of Canada and the recognition of our editor, Britt Gallpen, with an Honourable Mention for Editor Grand Prix, at the 2017 Canadian Magazine Awards, to name a few. Great things are happening at the Inuit Art Foundation in our 30th year, made possible by our staff working behind the scenes. I am proud to be a part of an organization that works to celebrate traditional and contemporary art in various media and to share the unspeakable beauty within the minds of our people, who possess timeless Inuit knowledge and embody our culture. As we turn towards the new year, on behalf of the Inuit Art Foundation, I would like to wish you all a safe and happy holiday and all the very best for 2018! Beatrice Deer Treasurer, Inuit Art Foundation

The IAF enjoyed a busy fall promoting Inuit artists and their work throughout Canada and beyond. The initiatives highlighted here help us to achieve our core mandate to share this vibrant artmaking community with you and with the world.

Inuit Art Foundation Strategic Planning From September 15–18, 2017, the IAF’s Board of Directors participated in a strategic planning retreat to begin setting the IAF’s priorities for the next five years. The retreat, which took place in downtown Toronto and at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, included a fruitful visit from Tungasuvvingat Inuit’s Board of Directors and Executive Director to discuss shared priorities and opportunities for the future. The Board of Directors and Executive Director of Tungasuvvingat Inuit (TI) joins the IAF in Toronto on September 15, 2017, to discuss future opportunities. Standing from left: TI Executive Director Jason LeBlanc, Lorraine Niego (TI), Cindi Rye (TI), Joyce Ford (TI), Heather Igloliorte (IAF), IAF Executive Director Alysa Procida, Beatrice Deer (IAF). Seated from left: Leetia Nowdluk Wisintainer (TI), Sammy Kudluk (IAF), Strategic Planning Consultant Su Ditta, Mathew Nuqingaq, CM (IAF) and Kathy Morgan (TI)

Follow us on Twitter: @InuitArtFdn Like us on Facebook: Inuit Art Foundation Follow us on Instagram: inuitartfoundation Inuit Art Quarterly


Winter 2017


To learn more about what we’re up to, visit us online at:

Become a Sustainer and help support the Inuit Art Foundation! Inuit Artist Database Launch and Edit-a-Thons The Inuit Art Foundation was pleased to launch its new online artist biographical database on September 15, 2017. The publicly accessible platform is a centralized resource for collectors, gallerists, curators, artists and others to learn more about the diversity and talent of historic and contemporary Inuit artists, working in all media. The IAF was excited to partner with OCAD University on November 16, 2017, to host an information session and public edit-a-thon of the database, the first in an ongoing series of collaborative events with universities and institutions across Canada to raise awareness of the program. Additional events will be held in partnership with the Blackwood Gallery at the University of Toronto Mississauga on January 17, 2018, and Concordia University in the spring of 2018. To date, biographies on artists such as Kenojuak Ashevak, CC, RCA and Jessie Oonark, OC, RCA are available to browse alongside works from contemporary artists such Michael Massie, CM, RCA. The Foundation welcomes public contributions to the database from all who are interested. To learn more about Inuit artists or to contribute your knowledge see or to inquire about hosting an edit-a-thon at your local school, museum or gallery, contact us at

Inuit Art Quarterly Attends FIPP World Conference in London The IAF’s Executive Director was delighted to participate in the 41st FIPP World Congress (October 9–11, 2017) in London, England, as part of the Canadian delegation organized by Magazines Canada. The global publishing event brought together small and large media publishers from around the world and offered the IAF the opportunity to learn new insights to continue to improve the Inuit Art Quarterly while showcasing the IAQ on the world stage. Futures

IAF + imagineNATIVE In commemoration and celebration of 30 years of Inuit video art production by the Isuma and Arnait Video production companies, the Inuit Art Foundation was delighted to sponsor the screening of Channel 51 Igloolik on October 19, 2017, as part of the 18th annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival in Toronto, ON. Guest curated by Isabella Weetaluktuk, the shorts program featured retrospective works Qulliq (Oil Lamp) (1993), Aqtuqsi (My Nightmare) (1996), Unikausiq (Stories) (1996) and Issaituq (Waterproof) (2007), as well as the world premiere of Bowhead Whale Hunting with My Ancestors (2017), the latest work by Zacharias Kunuk, OC. Co-directed by Carol Kunnuk, the documentary follows a 2016 hunt in the community. The film program was complemented with the companion exhibition Channel 51 Igloolik: The Filmmaking Process, presented at the Trinity Square Video, also curated by Weetaluktuk.

Inuit Art at Canada’s Art Fair The Inuit Art Foundation was pleased to participate in Art Toronto 2017, Canada’s international contemporary and modern art fair, between October 27–30, 2017. This marks the IAF’s third annual presence at the fair. This year, we joined the Canada Council Art Bank, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Canadian Art and others as a Cultural Partner, allowing us to showcase the redesigned 30th anniversary issue of IAQ, as well as our numerous other initiatives, including the Inuit Artist Database and the Igloo Tag Trademark programs. The Foundation also hosted an in-depth consultation on the Igloo Tag in conjunction with the event. Approximately 10,000 people visited the fair this year. To those who were able to visit with us at our booth, thank you so much for stopping by to talk with us about our upcoming projects.


Inuit Art Foundation Sustainers Program

The Inuit Art Foundation relies on the generosity of donors like you to develop programming to support the work of Inuit artists. The IAF is excited to announce the launch of our Sustainers Program. All donors are recognized in the IAQ and on the website, in the following categories: $5,000+ · Opportunity to be affiliated with a specific IAF project or program. · Annual luncheon with IAF to discuss new programs and explore new works by Inuit artists. · Opportunities to meet artists at special events and receptions. · A one-year subscription to IAQ. · Invitations to IAQ launches. · Acknowledgement in the magazine and on the website. $2,500+ · Annual luncheon with IAF to discuss new programs and explore new works by Inuit artists. · Opportunities to meet artists at special events and receptions. · A one-year subscription to IAQ. · Invitations to IAQ launches. · Acknowledgement in the magazine and on the website. $1,000+ · Opportunities to meet artists at special events and receptions. · A one-year subscription to IAQ. · Invitations to IAQ launches. · Acknowledgement in the magazine and on the website. $500+ · A one-year subscription to IAQ. · Invitations to IAQ launches. · Acknowledgement in the magazine and on the website. $250+ · Invitations to IAQ launches. · Acknowledgement in the magazine and on the website. $100+ · Acknowledgement in the magazine and on the website.


Give the GIFT that always fits

The Inuit Art Quarterly makes the perfect holiday gift for the art lover in your life!

Jessie Oonark Untitled (Owl with Eggs) 1967

Visit us online today at to subscribe! Or mail back your subscription insert 215 Spadina Avenue #400 Toronto, ON M5T 2C7

“I draw what I have seen or heard; I draw about my life.� Pitaloosie Saila is the sole remaining active artist from the earliest years of printmaking in Cape Dorset. See the first retrospective in a public gallery celebrating her remarkable body of work.


Pitaloosie Saila. Bird in Morning Mist, 1984. Lithograph on paper. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. G-89-1188

Home of the largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art on earth

Curated by Susan Gustavison and Darlene Coward Wight


Creating Inuit Futures IAF staff share their picks for visionary works

David Ruben Piqtoukun (b. 1950 Paulatak) —


David Ruben Piqtoukun


Airplane (Past, Present, Future) 1995 Brazilian steatite and African wonderstone 26 × 36.5 × 27.5 cm

Airplane (Past, Present, Future) (1995)


Jutai Toonoo (1959–2015 Kinngait) — LEFT


Airplane (Past, Present, Future) tells a remarkable story, rich in detail and personal experience. The piece is made up of a grey stone igloo base, a multitoned airplane above and a flying green shaman perched atop it all. The igloo is a symbol of the artist’s past, living on the land with his family near Paulatuk, Inuvialuit Settlement Region (ISR), NT, as a child. The airplane represents transitional periods for the artist, being taken to attend residential school, but also leaving the Artic to live in the South and travelling the world making artwork. The final component–the shaman–flies above with arms outstretched, representing the future. A symbol of cultural resiliency, he moves forward, carrying with him numerous histories, which propel him as he navigates what the future has to offer. JOHN GEOGHEGAN

Assistant Editor and Circulation Manager


Jutai Toonoo

TV Head (c. 2002) “Then comes the end.” So concludes Jutai Toonoo’s (1959–2015) razor sharp, apocalyptic visioning of the undoing of culture in this piercing sculptural work. In TV Head, the head of a woman clad in an amauti (woman’s parka) is replaced with a television, whose endless news ticker of plight and destruction fills the screen. Created at the turn of the century, the permeable anxiety associated with the 24-hour news cycle, with its unrelenting imagery of societal collapse and devastation, is here paused and suspended in stone. Inuit Art Quarterly

Reminiscent of other political critiques by contemporaries such as Alootook Ipellie (1951–2007), Toonoo’s TV Head remains a sharp reminder of what is lost in the ceaseless onslaught of information, connectivity and modernity. Toonoo’s is a forceful reminder to carefully consider what is lost in the name of “progress”. Not a pretty future certainly, but a potential one nonetheless. BRITT GALLPEN

Editor 10

Winter 2017



Ningiukulu Teevee

Not a Cutting Board (2015)

Ningiukulu Teevee (b. 1963 Kinngait) — ABOVE

Not a Cutting Board 2015 Coloured pencil and ink 76.2 × 58.4 cm COURTESY FEHELEY FINE ARTS

Not A Cutting Board playfully undercuts perceptions of Inuit past and future with its loosely drawn style and engaging composition. The work shows a woman cutting skin, presumably for kamiks (boots), on an oversized iPad. The tablet is abstracted not only by its minimalist, reverse rendering, but also by the exaggerated proportions of the ulu (woman’s knife) and hands. Though in keeping within her oeuvre stylistically, the subject departs significantly from Teevee’s signature works of sharply rendered, expressive birds. Although at first glance, viewers may assume that timehonoured practices such as the making of skin clothing are incongruous with the advanced technologies of today, Teevee’s work astutely and powerfully shows that both can exist harmoniously in the present. ALYSA PROCIDA

Executive Director and Publisher

Nick Sikkuark (1943–2013 Kugaaruk) — ABOVE

Untitled (Pixellated Hunter) 2008 Coloured pencil 30.5 × 22.7 cm COURTESY MARION SCOTT GALLERY



Three Thousand (2017)

Untitled (Pixellated Hunter) (2008)


When I first watched Three Thousand by Asinnajaq (Isabella Weetaluktuk), my dear friend, I felt as though I was being invited into her happy and dream-like world–a world we have spoken so much about. Through soft sounds and gentle music, we are carried first through the story of Asinnajaq’s birth followed by archival footage of Inuit going through the movements of their daily lives. Scenes of dreamy and layered visuals playfully intertwine with music by Tanya Tagaq, CM, and Celina Kalluk that is variously atmos­ pheric and visceral. As the film progresses

Nick Sikkuark

the archival footage and rhythmic sounds give way to digitally rendered animations that capture our world in the year three thousand. In this future space, Inuit communities thrive, glowing against the stark landscape of an unfolding tomorrow and nestled within the vast expanse of a greater universe. The film is a love poem from the artist to her ancestors, to history and to a bright future of continuity and resilience. CAMILLE USHER

Programs Coordinator

Isabella Weetaluktuk (b. 1991 Montreal) — RIGHT

Still from Three Thousand 2017 Video 14m


Inuit Artist Database Program Coordinator



This piece by Nick Sikkuark (1943–2013) captures the upper body of a man in a brown parka, holding a spear and set against an icy landscape. The drawing is made up of small circles of colour, creating a mosaic effect while simultaneously conjuring a pixelated photograph. The scene is further distorted by a camouflage pattern made of sections of bare paper that partially masks the figure. It is as if the source image Sikkuark used is pixelated in his memory. Untitled (Pixellated Hunter) both reflects on the past through the representation of an older technology (a spear) and points to a mediated future where memory is increasingly held by digital technology. Sikkuark cleverly presents a healthy scepticism about his digital present as well as the future. It is as if he has astutely anticipated current discourse around social media platforms and the self; if a moment is not captured on Instagram, did it ever happen?




Exhibition Highlights A behind-the-scenes look at some notable projects on view now

To see a full list of exhibitions, visit our enhanced calendar online at:

Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory (b. 1979 Iqaluit) — Still from Timiga nunalu, sikulu (My body, the land and the ice) 2016 Video 6m 28s COURTESY THE ARTIST

JANUARY 8–27, 2018

#callresponse Blackwood Gallery MISSISSAUGA, ON

This multifaceted project includes a touring exhibition with locally responsive programming, a website, social-media platform and catalogue. Illuminating work that is both urgent and enduring, #callresponse centres Indigenous women within discussion and action around Indigenous cultural revitalization, land-based knowledge and cross-cultural solidarity building. Presented in the context of the Blackwood Gallery’s year-long Take Care program, this iteration of the exhibition includes an edit-a-thon of the Inuit Artist Database, co-presented by the Inuit Art Foundation, a panel discussion on the stewardship of land, water and Inuit art and a commissioned billboard by Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory. Co-organizer Tarah Hogue elaborates:

Inuit Art Quarterly

Laakkuluk’s work will be featured on the Bernie Miller Lightbox, located outside of the gallery on an exterior wall at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. The piece captures the artist’s face in profile, covered in black grease paint. It’s positioned so that Laakkuluk will be facing the students as they enter the building and at night the image will be reflected in the adjacent glass windows. Ultimately, we wanted to think about the presence of Inuit art as well as the presence of Inuit bodies on campus. The image is a still taken from her video work Timiga nunalu, sikulu (My body, the land and the ice) (2016), which was one of the five initial commissioned works for #callresponse and shows her preparing the face paint for uaajeerneq (the Greenlandic mask dance). The film was also screened in the response performance that she did 12

with Tanya Tagaq in 2016 as part of the first iteration of #callresponse in Vancouver, BC. Both the video and documentation of the response performance are included in the exhibition at Blackwood. The video can be read in part as challenging the representation of the female body and, in the context of Take Care, pushes us to think about that in relationship to the land and stewardship of it. The image of Laakkuluk in uaajeerneq is fierce and confronting, but so much of that practice is also tied to teaching the younger generation about how to face the extremes of life in the North. It has a deep intergenerational quality to it. Laakkuluk is a second-generation uaajeerneq performer—her mother also did it and that’s who taught her. There is a lot of beautiful nuance to this image. – Tarah Hogue Winter 2017


Pitaloosie Saila (b. 1942 Kinngait) — Drawing for print Arctic Madonna 1979 Coloured pencil and felt-tip pen 51 × 66.2 cm COLLECTION OF THE WEST BAFFIN ESKIMO CO-OPERATIVE LTD., ON LOAN TO THE MCMICHAEL CANADIAN ART COLLECTION

“I really have had something to say over the years and this is important. I hope I still have more to say.” PITALOOSIE SAILA


OCTOBER 28, 2017–MAY 13, 2018

Pitaloosie Saila: A Personal Journey Winnipeg Art Gallery

Pitaloosie is probably best known for this work, which shows a mother looking at her young child in the hood of her amauti (woman’s parka) flanked by two owls. We are very happy to include the original drawing of this stonecut in the exhibition, as it offers the chance for viewers to examine the differences between the print and the drawing. This piece is also a rare example of Kinngait Studios reversing an image for print.


Strange Ladies 2006 Printed by Niveaksie Quvianaqtuliaq (b. 1970 Kinngait) Lithograph 38.2 × 57 cm REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION DORSET FINE ARTS

This is one of the most socially critical works in the exhibition. When Pitaloosie was eight years old, she broke her back in a fall and spent the next seven years in southern hospitals. She has described this as a sad and lonely time, and this print depicts a nun and nurses who treated her badly during this period.

Bird in Morning Mist 1984 Printed by Pootoogook Qiatsuk (b. 1959) Lithograph 50 × 67.3 cm REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION DORSET FINE ARTS

Birds are a favourite subject for the artist. Depicted as lively, humorous or serene, Pitaloosie imbues them with various expressive qualities. This print demonstrates the artist’s particular interest in drawing directly onto lithographic stones and plates. It was printed by Pootoogook Qiatsuk after much experimentation with lithographic tusche, or ink, to achieve the mottled effect. – Darlene Coward Wight



Pitaloosie Saila: A Personal Journey is the first institutional retrospective for the elder Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, artist. A mainstay in the annual print collections for over 50 years, Saila is one of the only living artists who was involved in early printmaking in the community. We hear from exhibition curators Susan Gustavison and Darlene Coward Wight on the importance and timeliness of this long-overdue exhibition and some of the key works in the show: This exhibition has been in the works for some time now. Several years ago, I conducted an interview with Pitaloosie in Ottawa, where we discussed over 60 works spanning the breadth of her career. It was wonderful for her and I to see how huge her body of work was. She was very moved by the chance to look at artworks that she hadn’t seen for a long time and at the end she said, “I really have had something to say over the years and this is important. I hope I still have more to say.” She told me she started drawing when her children were young because she wanted to be someone, she didn’t just want to keep house. Certain themes emerged as I studied her work, the most important being images of women, in both a historical and contemporary context. She hasn’t made many shamanic images, but the ones she has are always female. There is an early print called Eskimo Leader (1972) and the average viewer would look at it and assume it was a man, but when you look closer at the boots and the hem of the parka, you can see it is a woman with traditional tattoos. It is unexpected things like this that I am most excited to share with the public. – Susan Gustavison



Nunalleq Culture & Archaeology Center QUINHAGAK, ALASKA

Artist Drew Michael holds a mask, excavated just moments before, at the Nunalleq archaeological site, August 2017 COURTESY DREW MICHAEL

An archaeological dig has unearthed over 70,000 artifacts preserved by permafrost for centuries near a remote community on the Bering Sea. Incredibly well preserved ulus, masks, baskets, rope and utensils have been collected and sent to the University of Aberdeen for conservation and cataloguing, where lead archaeologist Rick Knecht is a professor. The artifacts will return to Quinhagak, Alaska, in 2018 for installation in the soon-to-be opened Nunalleq Culture & Archaeology Center, named “The Old Village” in Yup’ik. The dig has involved many community members who have consulted and participated in the excavation. Here artist Drew Michael, born in nearby Bethel, Alaska, speaks about his experience at the excavation site:

I recently spent ten days in Quinhagak participating in the dig. I was invited because I am a well-known mask maker in Alaska. I am Yu’pik and Iñupiaq, and my people come from that area. Being there connected me to my homeland in a way that I have never experienced before, and it affected me profoundly. As I was digging, I felt like I was getting to know the different generations of people who have lived on this land. I found a small wooden mask that is probably around 500 years old. As a mask maker, it was surreal. I kept pinching myself because I couldn’t believe what I found. The experience has been influencing my work; there is a deeper, spiritual connection in the stories that I am telling. I have been inspired to make a body of work about transformations, animal spirits and the spirits of ancestors as a way to honour them. – Drew Michael

JANUARY 2–APRIL 20, 2018

Nitsiit Sheridan College, Hazel McCallion Campus

Couzyn van Heuvelen (b. 1987 Bowmanville) —




Fishing Weight 2015 Muskox horn, fish hook, thread and brass

Inuinnait Fishing Lure c. 1921 Animal tooth, bone and sinew 9.2 × 3 × 1 cm



Launched in 2012, the Temporary Contemporary program is an annual installation of a contemporary artwork on one of Sheridan College’s campuses. The commissions are primarily process based and emerge out of an extended period of incubation and exchange between the selected artist, students and the local community. The 2017 artist-in-residence is sculptor Couzyn van Heuvelen, who will transform the first floor of the Creativity Commons in the new Hazel McCallion Campus. This season is a partnership between the Sheridan Creative Campus Galleries, the Faculty of Animation, Arts & Design and the Centre for Indigenous Learning and Support and externally with the Art Gallery of Mississauga, which will host a complimentary exhibition highlighting the artistic process. Here, van Heuvelen discusses his vision for the installation:

Inuit Art Quarterly

This project is sited at Sheridan College’s new campus, within a big common area created as a community space—the ceilings are maybe 35 feet tall. I proposed a series of objects, which come out of an ongoing project of mine titled Fishing Lures, started in 2015. For this iteration, I’m creating a selection of six different lures that are blown up to about 3 to 4 feet tall that will hang from the ceiling. They are being produced in a whole range of materials including cast aluminum, wood, glass and, I’m hoping, even a ceramic component. Many of the forms are inspired by examples of ancient Inuit lures made from bear teeth that are held in museum collections. I have a few images saved of these historical lures that I found online that I’ve been working with. Another important aspect of the project is that I’ve been working at the campus and working out of the studios. I really wanted to engage with the students and the broader community. – Couzyn van Heuvelen 14

Winter 2017




ART, ARCHITECTURE and TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE Manasie AKPALIAPIK, Victoria GREY, Sammy KUDLUK, Koomuatuk « Kuzy » Sapa CURLEY, Bobby Nokalak ANAVILOK, Ulaayu PILURTUUT, Timootee «Tim » PITSIULAK, Ningiukulu TEEVEE

1356, Sherbrooke Street West Montreal (Quebec) H3G 1J1 T 514.849.6091


New Address


Timootee “Tim” PITSIULAK, Beluga whales and a bowhead, 2016. Black ink on paper. Photo: EVOQ Architecture.

Specializing in Inuit art since 1963


Loon by Jacopoosie Tiglik, Pangnirtung

allows artists to dream and create To donate to the Inuit Art Foundation visit us

contact us 647.498.7717

83 Sparks St. Mall, Ottawa, Ontario 613-232-2213


Tim Pitsiulak Go Pro Hydrophone (detail) 2016




Floyd Kuptana Untitled

by Richard D. Mohr

Inuit Art Quarterly


Winter 2017


In filling out the canvas with absurdity, the painting leaves no spot on the floor where the disoriented viewer can plant a foot in order to stop the room from spinning.

Not since Knud Rasmussen handed paper and pencil to the Netsilik shaman Anarqâq has the depiction of the spirit world’s arrival in everyday life been as scary as in the 2D work of Floyd Kuptana. Born at the height of the Cold War in the shadow of the Cape Parry DEW Line station, Kuptana lives, as it were, under the sign of impending apocalypse. It is a feeling that pervades many of the paintings and collages, which the artist has added over the last five years to his ongoing body of work in stone. Kuptana’s carvings are well known, featured on the Spring 2008 cover of IAQ and stickered in galleries for five figures. But, to date, these graphic works have been largely dismissed by nearly all commercial outlets. This disparity is striking, for this body of work on paper, wood and canvas boosts the energy, wonder, intensity and strangeness found in the carvings. Take Untitled (2015). The painting depicts in lurid impasto a spiraling star or galaxy as it rotates toward the viewer and begins cutting, like a circular saw, into a cosmic skull, whose lamprey-like teeth seem poised to bleed the universe dry.

Floyd Kuptana (b. 1964 Cape Parry) —

Humour works here like an atlatl: though it initially points in the opposite direction to its spear, it greatly enhances the spear’s deadly thrust. For Kuptana, the universe— all giddy and grim—is stacked against us. The shaman Anarqâq was able to wrestle into helping spirits virtually all of the monsters he encountered and later drew for Rasmussen. It remains to be seen whether the Toronto-based Kuptana will be able to do the same with his inspiring daemons. Either way, and even without the galleries, his graphic works situate him within an illustrious canon of boundarybreaking contemporary artists that includes among others the late Jean-Michel Basquiat. Kuptana’s aesthetic universe, however, replete with gritty vibrancy, frenetic colour and a unique visual language suffused with pop culture references, is entirely his own. — Richard D. Mohr holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Toronto and is a member of the Inuit Art Society.

Anarqâq (date unknown) —



Untitled 2015 Acrylic on canvas 28 × 36 cm

Nârtoq 1922 Graphite on paper 14 × 12 cm




Devil’s horns and kohl-ringed eyes further flag this spirit’s menace. Kuptana’s palette of gilt, pink and turquoise is, much like the scene, at once seductive, mesmerizing and repulsive. Yet comedy too—that of startling juxtaposition—joins the frame. Two pairs of goofy overlapping creatures fill out the remaining space. Toward the bottom left, two white Janus-faced profiles of indeterminate species, with grossly down-stretched snouts, share an eye. Above these grotesque faces hover two canine muzzles in blue. They too share an eye. In right profile, one has its mouth open. The other, looming into one-quarter left profile from behind the gyrating star is, yes, Charles Schultz’s Snoopy, whose familiar big black nose doubles as the other dog’s mouth. Snoopy is a reoccurring figure in Kuptana’s recent works. In Untitled, comedy does not relieve horror. Rather, it makes the horror a mocking one. In filling out the canvas with absurdity, the painting leaves no spot on the floor where the disoriented viewer can plant a foot in order to stop the room from spinning.




Samonie Toonoo Harry’s Horse

by Kyra Vladykov Fisher

It isn’t unusual practice in the North to commission artwork. Frequently, burgeoning collectors might see a piece they like by a certain artist and request that a similar work be created. I had a different reason: I wanted a piece that was unique. When I lived in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, in 2006, I wanted to give my friend Harry a special present for Christmas. Since he was from cowboy country, I decided to commission a local artist to carve a horse for him. Despite the difficulty of commissioning and the risk that it might not work out, I was resolved. Chris Pudlat, the buyer at the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative, recommended Samonie Toonoo (1969–2017) because he had previously done nice Inuit Art Quarterly

carvings of caribou. Artist Samonie Toonoo comes from an illustrious family of carvers. His sister Oviloo Tunnillie, RCA (1949–2014) was a famous carver, and his brother Jutai (1959–2015) was also making a name for himself at the time. But the only carvings I had ever seen by him were hip-hop priests, Grim Reapers and the like. I had never seen his caribou—and he had never seen a horse! Still, I approached him and he agreed. I can’t remember exactly when I requested the piece, perhaps around the beginning of November. But soon it was getting close to Christmas and there was still no sign of Harry’s present. When I saw the artist, he told me that he was working on the horse, but it was not yet 18

finished. I asked if I could have a look at it, so we drove up the hill to his place. The living room was a disaster—it was his carving room. There was no furniture, just stone, dust and tools. In one corner of the room, on the floor, lay a plastic model of a horse; he must have been using it to get the form and proportions. His unfinished piece had the basic horse form, but needed to be refined. Christmas came and went, and still I had no gift for Harry. Shortly after, I ran into the artist, who told me that the horse had broken. In fact, he told me that he had bought several pieces of stone and they had all broken. At that point, I was resigned to never being able to give Harry his horse. Winter 2017


About a month later, the artist told me he was working on another horse that was almost finished. The following Monday, I happened to go into the co-op and there, to my surprise, I saw a sculpture with the body of a horse and a Manx-like tail.

Then about a month later, the artist told me he was working on another horse that was almost finished. The following Monday, I happened to go into the co-op and there, to my surprise, I saw a sculpture with the body of a horse and a Manx-like tail. It stood upright and there were no ears. Its face was human, sporting protruding tusks that gave it the appearance of a warthog. The mane was a piece of black rabbit fur, glued down the length of its neck. I was somewhat taken aback because here was what I thought was Harry’s horse, but it had been sold to the co-op. I was worried if I did not buy this horse, I might never get another, so I bought the carving. I loved it because it was unique and so

expressive. I did not want to part with it. However, I felt honour-bound to give it to Harry, until a week later I saw Samonie Toonoo, who told me that he was going to be bringing me the horse! And he did. Shortly after, he came to my office with a yellow co-op bag, and inside, finally, was Harry’s horse! In the end, since I had two horses, I decided to keep the creative one for myself named in honour of Harry and proudly displayed to reflect the artist’s original and unique vision. — Kyra Vladykov Fisher, MA, was Arts Manager at Kinngait Studios from 2006–2007. She now resides in Cochrane, AB.

Samonie Toonoo (1969–2017 Kinngait) — Harry’s Horse 2007 Steatite, ivory and fur 16.5 × 25.4 × 6.4 cm PHOTOS OWEN MELENKA





Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter

Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter (b. 1993 Edmonton/Calgary) — Untitled (Self Portrait as a Ghost) 2016 Silkscreen print 38.1 × 27.9 cm PHOTOS COURTESY THE ARTIST

by Britt Gallpen

The Yellowknife-born, Edmonton-raised artist unflinchingly reflects the angst and anxiety of many of her generation.

Inuit Art Quarterly

Jade Nasogaluak Carpenter has a wry sense of humour. Working across media, including installation, print, drawing, film and sculpture, the artist utilizes her art “as a coping mechanism to subtly address diaspora, and to openly address mental illness.” The result is a practice seasoned with the macabre, made palatable by the sweetness of its delivery. The Yellowknife-born, Edmonton-raised artist unflinchingly reflects the angst and anxiety of many of her generation. It’s visible in works such as She Was Ok (2016), a print depicting a tombstone engraved with the 20

ambivalent platitude, or the sprawling installation Life Is Okay Sometimes (2014), comprised of untitled doodles featuring line-drawn bodies acting out phrases like “Fuck It” and “Pity Party”, or sobbing, crawling or pleading above others, including “It’s hard to make art when you feel empty inside.” Following a diploma in Fine Art from Grant MacEwan University, Nasogaluak Carpenter went on to receive her bachelor in Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2016. Now currently based in Banff, AB, where she is undertaking an Indigenous Curatorial Research Practicum with the Walter Phillips Gallery at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, she remains an actively engaged member of Calgary’s contemporary art scene as an artist, curator and administrator. She is a member of the curatorial collective Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective as well as a board member for Stride Gallery, one of the city’s most established artist-run centres. Beyond the province, Nasogaluak Carpenter is the Inuvialuit Youth Representative on the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Indigenous Advisory Circle and has been selected as one of 50 Indigenous women artists who will partake in curator Lee-Ann Martin’s expansive Canada-wide billboard project, slated for the summer of 2018. Most recently, however, the artist turned her sights to a more diminutive project, creating a suite of stone carvings–her first– for the 2017 edition of the Sled Island Music & Arts Festival. The pieces include a lighter and cigarettes, as well as a lipstick tube, tampon and diva cup and received an overwhelmingly positive reception, despite some generational confusion. “A lot of the younger crew identified the diva cup right off the bat,” explains the artist. “While a number of older people were like, ‘I don’t know what that little cup is.’ I think it really subverted what people might have been expecting to see from Inuit carving.” It is this clever and deeply personal approach that situates Nasogaluak Carpenter within a robust lineage of Inuit artists who have thoughtfully and truthfully depicted their lives through autobiographical works, including Jamasee Pitseolak, Jutai Toonoo (1959–2015) and Oviloo Tunnillie, RCA (1949–2014). Winter 2017


She Was Ok 2016 Intaglio print 22.9 × 22.9 cm

Uyarak//Stone 2017 Steatite and tung oil lighter: 7.6 × 2.5 × 1.2 cm cigarettes (×4): 0.6 (diam.) × 7.6 cm (approximate dimensions)




Inuit Art Quarterly


Winter 2017

Antler, Bone, Stone

Recent Sculpture from Igloolik

65 George Street, Toronto

December 2 - January 27, 2018

416 323 1373

BEAR DRUMMER, 2015, ivory, 7 x 12.25 x 2�





Kinngait in Scale: Embassy of Imagination and the Next Generation of Inuit Artists — by Matthew Ryan Smith

Awash in fantastical imagery and vibrant colour, formerly drab walls in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and, perhaps most surprisingly, the small hamlet of Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, are being transformed by a shifting roster of artists—most of whom are still in high school. Created with the support of a Southern arts collective, this talented group of youth is carrying a community arts legacy into the future and leaving their own unique mark along the way. PREVIOUS SPREAD


Pijitsirniq 2017 Embassy of Imagination in partnership with the Hamlet of Cape Dorset

Christine Adamie at work on Tunnganarniq, 2017

For several months in 2015, four youth artists from Kinngait drew candid and stylized pictures of animals, objects, portraits and scenes from everyday life. The artists—Lachaolasie “Latch” Akesuk, Parr Josephee (formerly Etidloie), Aoudi Qinnuayuaq and Cie Taqiasuk— soon travelled 2,294 kilometers south to Toronto where they were joined by two local artists—Julieta Arias and Moises Frank—to execute a massive 50-foot mural on the side of a grey building on Church Street in Toronto’s east end. Although the original site for the mural fell through, a different building owner offered their wall to the group shortly thereafter. The mural’s title, Piliriqatigiingniq, translates to English as “working together towards a common goal,” a title befitting the painting’s collaborative framework. The work is an abstract representation featuring stylized patterns, motifs and a radiating colour palette, picturing caribou, dogs, fish, a walrus, faces, human hands and a broken-down snowmobile. Set against a glowing orange sun, these figures and objects are strapped onto the back of a hunched over male figure who lumbers under its immense weight. The figure is based on a story handed down by members of the community to one of the artists involved. “I heard some stories about my grandfather carrying a snowmobile and they told me to draw it,” says Josephee. “And it worked out.” 1 The image of Josephee’s grandfather with, not only the weight of the broken snowmobile, but also the weight of the North on his shoulders, is an apt metaphor for those like him in Northern communities who would have experienced the transition of “social upheaval” from nomadic existence to colonial resettlement in matchbox houses.2 While it may not have intended to do so, the wall speaks of colonialism’s unfolding history in the North, and the ways that colonization reverberates amongst individuals and communities. The Piliriqatigiingniq project was directed by Embassy of Imagination (EOI), a Toronto-based arts initiative that organizes cultural programming, events and workshops for Kinngait youth. The initiative is directed by two non-Indigenous visual artists, Alexa


This detail features the artwork of Oloota Quvianaqtuliaq, Johnny Samayualie, Aggiu Ashevak and Jolly Saggiatuk

Inuit Art Quarterly


Winter 2017


I’m so proud of the mural we painted in Ottawa, I’m proud of everyone. I felt excited to be at the unveiling, and I will be so excited to see the mural again when I go back to Ottawa.

In Qanuqtuurniq, the second of EOI’s travelling mural projects (after Toronto), the group once again collaborated with Kinngait youth. The result is a large-scale public mural of an anthropomorphic face emerging from an underwater landscape dotted with walrus, caribou, an iceberg and an igloo. Qanuqtuurniq is a term meaning innovative and resourceful, which bears on the mural’s message of the detrimental effects of climate change on everyday life in the North. One of the central objectives of EOI is to bridge the gap in dependable cultural programming opportunities for Kinngait youth; namely, by providing access and agency to meaningful art-related experiences. According to their website, “EOI encourages youth to achieve self-empowerment through creating fun, collaborative community projects and professionally-realized satellite projects across Canada. [...In] a territory [Nunavut] that has complex challenges and lacks employment opportunities, artistically inclined youth must be supported.” For instance in 2014, EOI visited Kinngait in order to lead a workshop that taught youth artists to construct multilayered stencils, which were then used in the process of painting patterns and motifs on eight wildlife-proof recycling bins. There, youth learned a contemporary street art approach, while attempting to beautify public space and assist in environmental sustainability. During this trip, Hatanaka and Thompson were introduced to the youth artists who would later participate in the Toronto mural project as part of the collaborative mural, Mine Your Imagination, installed on the facade of Sam Pudlat Elementary School in the hamlet. Recent exhibitions, such as the touring show Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture (2012) and the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood (2017), which featured EOI and Kinngait youth artists, have pointedly demonstrated the ways that Inuit youth (and Indigenous youth, more broadly) are invested in the aesthetics and political contributions made by skate and urban hiphop culture, which includes sanctioned (and unsanctioned) forms


Tunnganarniq (in progress) 2017 87 George Street Ottawa, ON Artists: Christine Adamie, Harry Josephee, Parr Josephee (Youth Artist Mentor), Janice Qimirpik, Kevin Qimirpik with PA System

Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson, who also work under the artist collective moniker PA System. As visual artists, an artist collective and a social praxis co-operative, they blur discursive lines, thus raising an important question: where does socially engaged community action begin and individual artistic practice end (and vice versa)? Together, Hatanaka and Thompson have helped to facilitate mural paintings and other creative projects in the Nunavut communities of Iglulik, Kinngait, Iqaluit and Sanirajak (Hall Beach), as well as those in Northern Quebec, including Kangiqsujuaq, Kuujjuaq and Inukjuak. Moreover, the group’s other Southern mural projects include Tunnganarniq (2017) in Ottawa and Qanuqtuurniq (2016) in Montreal. For Tunnganarniq, EOI collaborated with Kinngait youth and the Ottawa School of Art to produce a colossal public mural on the side of a building in the ByWard Market on George Street. The work represents the story of an Inuit hunter who captured a whale that had a harpoon over 100 years old lodged inside its body.



Kinngait in Scale


I’m passionate about art. I like drawing because it makes me happy and calm; I feel good when I’m drawing. I like being part of the EOI projects because it makes me feel like I’m not alone. I want to be an artist when I grow up.


Parr Josephee with his section of Piliriqatigiingniq, 2017 RIGHT

Piliriqatigiingniq (in progress) 2015 76 Church St. Toronto, ON Artists: Lachaolasie Akesuk Julieta Arias Moises Frank Parr Josephee Aoudi Qinnuayuaq Cie Taqiasuk with PA System

of graffiti and street art; yet, rather surprisingly, there remain few examples of academic literature on First Nations, Inuit and Métis graffiti and street art.3 With the emergence of the “post-graffiti” condition, defined as the explosion of graffiti and street art into subgenres, including wheatpaste stickering, stencilling, yarn-bombing and guerilla sculpture, research in this field will surely increase. Part of this critical lack in Canada is due to absent prospects for Inuit youth to learn, execute and sustain sanctioned graffiti and street art practices in Northern communities when cost, resources, materials, educators and suitable wall space are in short supply. The appearance then of Piliriqatigiingniq on a public-facing wall in downtown Toronto, for tens of thousands of Indigenous and non-Indigenous daily viewers, is significant for a number of reasons. The most striking being that the work translates the rich tradition of oral storytelling into the visual sphere—into the stuff of aesthetics. By employing strategies and methodologies that have been similarly harnessed by video collectives Igloolik Isuma Productions and Arnait Video Productions, recent graffiti and street art produced by Inuit artists serve to pass cultural values and community narratives to other Inuit, particularly those living in urban centres, but also to non-Indigenous folks living in Southern Canada as well, forcefully redressing stereotypical narratives of the North. Their subject matter and iconography are not void of political capital; instead, many of their stories draw from—and draw attention to—cultural resiliency as well as the destructive spirit of colonialism that continues to threaten the socio-cultural survival of Inuit communities. Innovative and experimental forms of contemporary art, of which sanctioned graffiti and street art belong, are emerging as one of the most important aesthetic developments in the history of Inuit art and visual culture. For art historian Heather Igloliorte,


[new approaches], involving the illustration of trans-cultural processes and the Inuit experience of the contemporary world, [seem] to be accelerating and now include remarkably sensitive and even more nuanced social commentary and critique. There has been a noticeable shift over the last two decades to the depiction of daring, intercultural subject matter [...] and what is, hopefully, a growing body of work that directly calls into question the legacy of trauma and colonization in the Arctic. For graffiti and street art specifically, their political clout is deeply related to the construction of colonial space. To this end, “regardless of the artist’s intention,” contends Anna Waclawek, “producing art on the street is in itself a form of resistance to sanctioned imagery and the notion of public space […] a type of rebellion against the capitalist construction of space.” 4 This work can symbolically reclaim colonial architecture, sites, spaces and dead-grey towers awash in commercial advertising imagery. Even the physical presence of Indigenous peoples in colonial spaces may function as a political act of resistance that responds to the attempted erasure of Indigenous peoples and cultures by European colonialism since Contact.5 Like most places, Kinngait has its differences, its paradoxes and its dichotomies. The hamlet maintains a small population of around 1,400 people, and, yet, since the 1950s, has remained one of the major centres of artistic production in Canada, home to some of its most celebrated artists, including Kenojuak Ashevak, CC, ON, RCA (1927–2013), Pitseolak Ashoona, CM, RCA (c. 1904–1983) and Annie Pootoogook (1969–2016); though the Canadian government asserts that 90 percent of those over 15 years of age is engaged in the arts and crafts industry, the rate of suicide in Nunavut territory, according to Statistics Canada, is nearly eleven times higher than the


Kinngait in Scale



Youth collaborators pose in front of Pijitsirniq, 2017. Left to right: Annie Oshutsiaq, Taqialuk Nuna, Iqaluk Quvianaqtuliaq, David Pudlat, Moe Kelly and Christine Adamie. This detail features the artwork of Salomonie Ashoona, Kevin Qimirpik and Tommy Quvianaqtuliaq.

Qanuqtuurniq (in progress) 2016 2360 Rue Ontario Est Montreal, QC

Inuit Art Quarterly

Canadian national average, with the vast majority of deaths being people under 30 years of age. Twenty-three percent of Kinngait’s population identify as visual artists, however the unemployment rate hovers somewhere around 22 percent, while the high school dropout rate approaches 40 percent; what is more, one in five people from Kinngait—according to the territory’s tourist board—identify art-making as their principle source of employment.6 These numbers say very little, if nothing, of the real and often understated ways that settler colonialism has structured and systematized forms of suffering in the North, particularly intergenerational traumas that affect the health and well-being of families and communities. Despite the fact that art and the art market holds a key position in Kinngait’s economy, social stability remains a priority—the idea that art can save the world just isn’t working. According to New York-based critic and curator Carlo McCormick, forms of graffiti and street art such as mural painting follow an “other” history, one that seeks to disarm the art establishment and the economy itself. It is something that steadfastly remains, by its very nature, attributable yet unknowable. Ethereal and fleeting, this work can be ruined as quickly as it can be created. “Inherently

Artists: Salomonie Ashoona Parr Josephee (Youth Artist Mentor) Saaki Nuna Tommy Quvianaqtuliaq Susan Rowsell (Youth Artist Mentor) Johnny Samayualie with PA System


Winter 2017

anti-institutional,” says McCormick, “it has never fit well within the academy or the museum; basically free, it has consistently had a problematic relationship with the art market.” 7 The act of Inuit youth artists from Kinngait producing large-scale public mural paintings such as Piliriqatigiingniq, Tunnganarniq, and Qanuqtuurniq that cannot be bought or sold is powerful in many ways. Namely, considering Inuit art’s historical relationship to the art market, these works maintain their place among the many forms of political resistance to colonialism and its capitalism. These public mural projects featuring Kinngait youth have the potential to support intercultural dialogues that do not readily exist between Northern and Southern communities, but who is listening and what is at stake? Undoubtedly, their work helps to redefine how graffiti and street art operate in Canada, as well as how it can be deployed to claim space at both the community level and within the realm of contemporary art. Ultimately, however, the scope and extent of its ability to shift political discourse remains in the realm of individual viewers. It will be interesting to watch the long-term permutations of these projects as they shift from the two-dimensional sphere of the wall, to the multi-dimensional space of public imagination.




Being part of EOI shows us that we are loved and cared for and that we have the opportunity to have the best experiences we can. I’ve seen so much and met so many different people. I have more understanding and respect of other people. I don’t even have the words…it’s been something else in my life.

My grandma’s name is Meelia Kelly, I’m inspired by her. My favourite [artwork] of hers is Bountiful Sea (2006). Being part of the EOI mural in Kinngait makes me feel that I am not alone. I drew a mirrored drawing, with a polar bear, two creatures and two faces. It makes me feel happy.


“Mural dreams resurrected for Nunavut and Toronto teens,” CBC News, June 25, 2015,, accessed July 27, 2017. 2 Heather Igloliorte discusses the relationship between “social upheaval” and the creation of art as a mode of resistance in “Inuit Art: Markers of Cultural Resistance,” Inuit Art Quarterly 25, no. 1-2 (Spring-Summer 2010), 4. 3 Tania Willard and Skeena Reece, Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture (Vancouver: Art Gallery of Vancouver and Grunt Gallery, 2012), exhibition catalogue. 4 Anna Waclawek, Graffiti and Street Art (London and New York: Thames and Hudson, 2011): 73. 5 Tarja Väyrynen, Eeva Puumala, Samu Pehkonen, Anitta Kynsilehto and Tiina Vaittinen, Choreographies of Resistance: Mobile Bodies and Relational Politics (London: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). 6 Kitra Cahana and Ed Ou, “Dancing towards the Light,” CBC News (2017),, accessed July 25, 2017; and Zoe McKnight, “These Nunavut Teenage Artists Finished a Massive Toronto Mural,” VICE (July 22, 2015), en_ca/article/avaa9k/these-nunavuts-teenage-artists-finished-a-massive-torontomural-182, accessed July 25, 2017. 7 Carlo McCormick, “The Writing on the Wall,” in Art in the Streets (New York: Skira Rizzoli Publications, Inc., 2011), 19, exhibition catalogue. 1


Kinngait in Scale

Spanning the space between language, performance and objects, this Alaskan artist has created a rich and layered artistic world, replete with music, poetry and moving images. The result is an unfailingly welcoming practice that invites audiences to “become IĂąupiaqâ€?, while skilfully honouring her community.



Finding Magic: The Future/Ancient of Allison Akootchook Warden — by Priscilla Naunġaġiaq Hensley Holthouse

Allison Akootchook Warden (b. 1972 Anchorage) —

There are many routes into Allison Akootchook Warden’s creative universe. She’s a performance artist who tells stories and raps as a killer whale, a writer who just published a book of Twitter poems and a visual artist who makes drawings, installations and video works. Most recently, visitors to the Anchorage Museum in Alaska were able to immerse themselves in the entirety of her artistic ecosystem by visiting her extended performance installation Unipkaaġusiksuġuvik (the place of the future/ancient) throughout the fall of 2016. Over the course of the two-month exhibit, Warden was on-site for hundreds of hours, performing, presiding over the space and welcoming people into a special place/time of her making. Unipkaaġusiksuġuvik transformed the top floor of the museum into an environment based on the shape and function of an old-school Iñupiaq qargi (community house). Warden describes the concept by raising her arms in a circle over her head and wiggling her fingers to indicate the space in between them. That’s where the magic happens. “If time is a circle and then you break [it] apart, there’s the hyper-hyper future and the super-super ancient,” she explains. “My hypothesis is that there’s a synaptic gap. It’s like this cyclical thing [and] the whole show existed, in theory, in that gap.”1 Warden’s installation was a prepared, multidimensional environment, containing objects old and new, interactive, communityoriented elements and performances. Lines between practices were shrugged away in an interdisciplinary tide of being and doing. Based in Anchorage, Warden is Iñupiaq, a tribal member of the Native Village of Kaktovik with family roots in Utqiaġvik (Barrow), Alaska. Born in Fairbanks, she grew up in several Alaska communities and in the “Lower 48”2 when her mother was attending divinity


We Are In This Future Time 2016 Altered digital photos from Anchorage Museum collections and the artist’s personal collection UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED IMAGES COURTESY THE ARTIST



Installation view of Unipkaaġusiksuġuvik (the place of the future/ancient) at the Anchorage Museum, 2016

Allison Akootchook Warden turning on the GoPro in the gallery each morning

Inuit Art Quarterly


Winter 2017

Warden’s installation was a prepared, multidimensional environment, containing objects old and new, interactive, communityoriented elements and performances. Lines between practices were shrugged away in an interdisciplinary tide of being and doing. —

school. Her creative evolution began unfurling slowly over her first few decades—a childhood role in a play, theatre as a teenager, a certificate in audio engineering—and has grown in intensity over the last ten years. In 2008, a watershed year for Warden, she created the solo performance Ode to the Polar Bear at the Out North theatre and collaborated on Wait, Let Me Finish Putting on My Armor at MTS Gallery (both in Anchorage). Ode to the Polar Bear developed into Calling All Polar Bears (2011), which premiered at Pangea World Theater in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and was later performed in Berlin and London and multiple communities in Alaska. While she may be best known for her solo performance work and for her appearances as rapper AKU-MATU, Warden is also an active collaborator. AKU-MATU typically appears alone onstage, but the beats are made by creative partner DJ WD40, and since 2013 she’s been a member of the band Yada Di, with Elena Lukina and Yngvil Vatn Guttu. Through involvement with projects such as Indigenize IT! and Virtual Subsistence, Warden has helped to create opportunities for other performers and artists. Further, by teaching students in Alaska and Greenland, she has shared creative tools and her artistic spark with Indigenous youth. The introductory text presented Unipkaaġusiksuġuvik as “a place to decolonize your spirit.” At the same time, it was a broad and inclusive space of Indigenization. The reimagined qargi transformed the top floor of the museum with its Iñupiaq name and descriptive texts, traditional dance practices, Native Halloween and Talk Show Tuesdays (and Thursdays Too). Altogether, it built on Warden’s past performance and installation works and community engagement and greatly expanded them, along with the horizons of museum-goers and the museum itself. Julie Decker, Director and CEO of the Anchorage Museum, saw the exhibition as a win-win-win for the artist, museum and visitors:

terms so it’s not like you have to sit in a theatre and the show starts at 7. It’s more like, ‘I’m a part of a show right now,’ or ‘I could hang out here all day.’” To enter the space, visitors passed through a hallway lined with rotary dial telephones fitted with headphones and playing recordings in Iñupiaq. We Knew Our Words Would Travel Beyond Bones (2016) featured Warden’s own voice reading from Puiguitkaat, a transcript from the 1978 North Slope Elders’ Conference. Another, Give It Up To God, Let the Spirit Work through You (2016) is a recording of Warden reading from Iñupiat New Testament: North Alaskan Eskimo and Today’s English Version (1st edition 1966). The accompanying label commented on the connection between her faith and her work. I was raised in the Presbyterian Church, as my mother is now a retired Presbyterian minister. I was taught at a young age about how to pray and the importance of prayer. My faith is how I am able to do the work that I do. It is the only way that I am able to do the work I do. My communities that I serve know me; they know that I know how to pray. I am able to look at the challenging subject of the role of the aŋatkuq [shaman] in Iñupiaq culture because I have a strong foundation in Jesus. I am not attempting to convert anyone through my work. I am reaffirming to my community where I stand, the way I was raised. I strongly believe that our Iñupiaq traditional spiritual beliefs and ceremonies can be beautifully expressed and supported from a strong foundation in Jesus and God. It would take a book of writing for me to really explain my thoughts in this area. If you are offended by my words, or if you disagree, please find a way to forgive me. Quyanaq. [Thank you.]

I think the museum should allow for risk and experimentation and should continually examine what role it can play in the community and how museum spaces can be defined. Allison proposed the performance/exhibition as part of our Polar Lab program and we knew that whatever form it ultimately took, it would be an important shift of perceptions, experiences and expectations—for us as a museum and for visitors, and would provide an opportunity for Allison to expand her definition of “performance” and to think visually.3 If pressed, Warden expresses favoritism for installations, out of all the forms she works in. “I love them because you create an immersive environment and people can get engaged on their own



Finding Magic


We Are In This Future Time 2016 Altered digital photo from the artist’s personal collection

A passageway into the main space of the exhibit evoked the sod houses traditionally used by the Iñupiat, which feature a tunnel people would pass through to get to the living space. Here, as people passed by the telephones, they walked beneath a ceiling lowered by hanging sheets of copper. The main area, also with a gleaming dropped ceiling, was lined down one side with a wide bench people could sit or lay on, outfitted with blankets and cushions. There was even an organized naptime on a Friday afternoon. Live programming, however, grounded the installation with the warmth of human activity. Warden invited other Alaska Native people into the space to be featured in some way or lead workshops. Gretchen Sagan, another Iñupiaq artist, hosted several beadwork sessions while Allison Kelliher conducted a workshop on traditional healing. Warden co-founded a dance group, Kisaġvigmiut Traditional Dancers, that also held practices in the space. A villagestyle Halloween party included dancing and a costume contest as well as a performance by Warden’s rapping alter ego AKU-MATU. Also part of the programming was AKU’s Tatoo, a consultation by the artist with Holly Mititquq Nordlum and Maya Sialuk Jacobsen, two Inuit women who are revitalizing traditional skin marking practices. Social media was a very natural and integrated part of Unipkaaġusiksuġuvik. Held on a stage at one end of the installation and downstairs at the museum café, Talk Show Tuesdays (and Thursdays Too) was broadcast on Facebook Live, allowing the audience to participate remotely via comments. Guests included artist Ricky Tagaban, filmmaker Anna Hoover and Anchorage Museum curator Aaron Leggett. Yaari Walker, Siberian Yupik from St. Lawrence Island, was a guest with whom Warden shared a powerful conversation about spirituality, ancestors and healing. More than just a way to promote her work, Warden has utilized social media platforms to extend the reach of her projects or, in the case of her Twitter poems, as the site of the work’s creation. Projected above the stage were photos largely pulled from the museum archives and altered by Warden, part of the yearlong period of preparation the artist spent working with and in the museum. “The [archivists] were super generous and kind. I was just all up in their space for like three weeks,” explains Warden. “Eventually, I just got a desk in the back. I was interested in [these] old archival photos and modifying them.” To do so, Warden added colour to some and


Atauchikun tatqiġmuqta! (Let’s All Go To the Moon Together!) Space Suit 2016 Plastic, felt, fishing line, cotton thread and beads 218.4 × 162.6 × 12.7 cm

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Winter 2017



3D-printed objects alongside the historic artifacts they were sourced from. The yellow bear is a replica of an object in the collection of the Anchorage Museum

Kisaġvigmiut Traditional Dancers perform the taliq (bench dances) in the gallery space

suit out of modern materials was that nobody had made one for 150 years,” explained the artist.4 “[Ugruk hide is] this really stinky material that’s super hard to work with. It was traditionally [worn to] butcher a whale, partially submerged in the water. It [was] made to fit exactly to your body shape.” Warden’s choice of materials also speak to the way she sees the suit. “To me, it looks like a space suit.” In the text accompanying the work for Unipkaaġusiksuġuvik, Warden elaborates, “We have stories of aŋatkut travelling to the moon. I imagine that they would be wearing this suit, because it looks similar to an astronaut’s suit.” For its presentation at the Anchorage Museum, she created a rap song to go with the suit, titled We Made It! Becoming a Five Dimensional Soul. Lyrics include: Now is the time we are all waking up Akkupak Itiġinaqsigatigut Waking up to the call of the Earth Itiqta quqquulataanun nunapta You and I are working together Il.ivilu uvaŋalu savaktuguq atauchikun And together we transition into a new age. Tavraasii atauchikun iñulasisa nutauruami inuuiġmi.

digitally chopped and reassembled others. The result was an assemblage of imagery that collapsed space and time. “I liked the idea of making [these] ancient [images] more futuristic.” Building on this meeting of the ancient and futuristic, Warden worked with a museum technician to create bright, even neon, 3D-printed replicas of several special objects—including one from the museum collection—displayed alongside the original items. She’d spotted a small, ivory talisman object of a polar bear wearing a crown back in 2013, while perusing the Anchorage Museum collections as a participant in a Smithsonian artist program. That one was printed in bright yellow. Three personal items made by family members: a baleen yo-yo handle, a wooden ikuun (skin scraping tool) and another small, ivory polar bear were created to round out the set. Warden describes this second little polar bear as the “most special object that I personally own,” acquired when she was thirteen years old from her great uncle, Stephen Patkotak at Kivġiq (Messenger Feast). While it’s evident that Warden’s incorporation and remaking of museum objects creates visually captivating pieces, on another level it is demonstrably expressive of a relationship between artist and institution wherein each are granted trust and access. Atauchikun tatqiġmuqta! (Let’s All Go To the Moon Together!) Space Suit (2016) is another such piece. Constructed of plastic material, hot pink felt, clear and neon green zip ties, a hula skirt, fishing line, cotton thread and some glow-in-the-dark tubes and beads, the garment is a recreation of an Iñupiaq whaling suit held by the Sheldon Jackson Museum in Sitka, Alaska. Only two such ugruk hide (bearded seal) suits exist. “Part of my reason for making this


Iñupiaq, the language of the Iñupiat, is part of the matrix of Warden’s work. Not a fluent speaker, it is through intention and effort that she uses it to the extent that she does, which is not insignificant. Throughout Unipkaaġusiksuġuvik, Iñupiaq was seen and heard with the artist leading language lessons for school children through the museum’s educational programming. “Our language is in this precarious state right now. Why not encourage everybody, no matter who they are [or] whatever race they are, to learn our language? Is there anything wrong with that? As long as [we’re] not taxing the elders who know the language and the grammar, then I’m like, ‘everybody should learn Iñupiaq. Let’s make everybody Iñupiaq.’ Which is a funny thing to say. Even Iñupiat are like, ‘How do you do that? That’s not even possible.’ But I like the inclusivity in that. How can we make everybody Iñupiaq?” This invitation—to make everyone Iñupiaq—speaks to Warden’s engagement with ever-broader audiences as well as the ripple effects of this open-ended and welcoming approach. In an email Decker shared, she comments on how Warden’s commitment has inspired their own efforts at the museum.


Finding Magic

In expressing herself, her visions and perceptions of the various dimensions of life and existence, Warden is constantly mindful of the communities she is part of: her tribe, the Iñupiat, artists, online and humanity. —

I was drawn to the individual investment on the part of Allison—the commitment, the personal energy that would be expended, the endurance aspect of it, the personal risk [and] the many dimensions to it. It was so iterative that it was at times challenging to the planning that can be required for building audiences and participants. But that’s a worthwhile exercise, too. [She] is fearless as a performer—she is all in. She is not just interested in being a stage performer; she sees the ensuing dialogue and conversations as part of her work, too. She is a rapid-fire idea creator [and is] sincere about her activism. Her work is current. Multifaceted and multidisciplinary, there are numerous individual components of Unipkaaġusiksuġuvik not touched on here: a glow-inthe-dark box drum, a portal between dimensions masquerading as a map of the universe, ceremonial dance staffs, a media screen playing Kivġiq videos and a painting on the stage’s surface. Details everywhere. These intersections of past and present technologies, and the people who create, interact with and modify them, are in some ways, not new at all. As Warden told me, “In Kaktovik, when copiers first came out, [one of] my elders bought a copier [that] he used in his own way to make his life easier. He enlarged everything so he could read it. [Likewise,] my great uncle couldn’t hear, so he rigged up a flashing light so [that] every time the phone would ring, a light would flash. Anytime a new technology came in [my elders] ‘made it Iñupiaq.’ Now I have the technology of museums and hip-hop and the technology [to create] physical things. How do I make those Iñupiaq and make it relevant to our own people? How do I share who we are with people and make it accessible, and how much of it is actually transferrable?” In expressing herself, her visions and perceptions of the various dimensions of life and existence, Warden is constantly mindful of the communities she is part of: her tribe, the Iñupiat, artists, online and humanity. “I’m always beholden to my culture,” she says. “I am a reflection of my ancestors’ vision and spirit and their work. I’m a reflection of my family. So, everything that I do, I keep those things in mind. [It’s] why I have [photographs of] my ancestors on my laptop.” In a way, like the elder in Kaktovik did with his photocopier, Warden uses the materials and technologies available to help herself and others to see things differently. Like the elder who wired his telephone to a lightbulb so he knew it was ringing, Warden is connecting things and sending up bright signals.


Kalukaq from the Future (Sent from the Eagle Mother) 2016 Plywood, polypropylene glow rope, u-bolt, leather pelt, glow-in-the-dark paint, glow-in-the-dark vinyl, fake eagle feather, fluid acrylic, heavy gloss, calfskin belt and gel 162.6 × 49.5 × 20.3 cm BELOW

A performer onstage in the gallery with projections of Warden’s manipulated historical photos COURTESY ANCHORAGE MUSEUM


¹ All quotes from the artist, unless otherwise specified, are taken from an interview conducted with the author on June 13, 2017. ² The “Lower 48” refers to the 48 contiguous United States south of Alaska. ³ All quotes from Julie Decker are taken from email communication with the author on July 5, 2017. 4 A result of Warden’s residency at the Sheldon Jackson Museum is a pattern that someone else could follow to make a suit of the original ugruk hide.



Finding Magic

Siassie Kenneally: All the Things That I Have Seen

Unlike her cousins, Annie Pootoogook (1969–2016) and Shuvinai Ashoona, the focus of Siassie Kenneally’s drawings is material culture, both traditional and contemporary. All the Things That I Have Seen (2016) was drawn immediately after the suicide of her son. It is a keystone; each section is filled with tiny images that mirror her life, from her family bible to John Lennon’s glasses and from harpoons to global symbols. – Patricia Feheley This is me crying because of my son’s suicide, holding a globe full of images from my life. I made a list of the things that I wanted to draw and made this drawing. It took a month to finish. In front of me is my mother’s qulliq (oil lamp). Below that is an image of my uncle Namonai, who passed away. He used to go kayaking and he would flip his kayak and then right it. Below that the Inuktut says Nunavut and Kinngait (Cape Dorset), followed by the inukshuk and star from the Nunavut flag. Behind me is a religious symbol. The candleholder holds the whole wide world, fire and the cross, which represents a reverend: my grandfather, Agiak Petaulassie, who was a minister in the Anglican church. Above that there is a rock formation that I remember from when my family would go fishing at the weir at Saaturittuq. We would take a break and have tea, sitting on this rock. Above that is the area where we used to camp as a family. The inukshuk made by my father. It is spring or summer. Over the camp area drawing is the northern lights, with star formations (Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Puppy and Kite). There is also a full moon. The drawings in the circle are divided into sections. Above my head are two sections about my life. Running across the second section is a dream that I had in which I was walking towards this little light and had a far way to go.

Siassie Kenneally (b. 1969 Kinngait) — All the Things That I Have Seen 2016 Ink and coloured pencil 76.2 × 58.4 cm

From Traditional Life to 2016


Siassie Kenneally: Tamainnik Tamakuniga Takusimajannik

Taapkutituuratik illukulukmititut Annie Pootoogook (1969–2016) amma Shuvinai Ashoona, aulutijanga taapsuma Siassie Kenneally titiraujaqtangit piqutiliriliqtilugit piusituqaqnik, tamainik Inuktitut ammalu maanauliqtuq. Tamaqmik taapkua Takusimajakka (2016) titiraujaqnikunga imminiilauqtilugu iqniga. Una uumatiminigaaqtuq. Atuni tatasimajut mikijuutinik kisunguanik una imminik takutitisimajuq inuusiqminik, takvangat ilagiit paipaaqutigit taapnalu John Lennon ijautigit ammalu kakivat taapkualu nunaqjuaqmi. – Patricia Feheley Ovanga takva qiayuq qiajutigijara iqnira ikminiiqmat, tigumiaq&ugu nunaqjuakka ajingguagit inuusiqma. Titiralauqpunga titiraujarumajannik ammalu una titiraujaqmilugu. Taqilimaamik pijariirasulauqtara. Ovanga saanni sivunini anaanama qulliq -nga. Ataani takva ajinguaga akkakma Namonai, unalu inuujuniiqsimaliqtuq. Una qayakturiaqtuqpalauqtuq ammalu pusitipak&ugu qayani ammalu makitikangiqpak&ugu. Ataani Inuktut uqaqtuq Nunavut ammalu Kinngait, atikaniani saniani Inukshuk ammalu ulluriaq tap­ psumangat Nunavut saimaqutaanit aulaqutaanit. Tunnunni una ukpiqtut taqsanga. Taapna napaaqtumik napatitijuq tigumiaqtuq nunaqjualimaamik, ikualajut ammalu sanigayuq, una kigaqtuqtuq tuksiaqti, ataatatsiara Agiak Petaulassie, ajuriqsuujiulauqtuq Anglican tuksiaqvingani. Qulaani ujarakguqsimajuq taapnalu iqaumajunga ilakka iqaliaqatalauqtut mat­titautinut taikani Saaturittuq. Nuqaqatalauqtugu taqaiqsiq&uta ammalu teatuq&uta iksivaluta takvani ujarasukjukmi. Qulaani taapna nuna atuqatalauqtavut nunami aulaaqsimaluta ilagiitigut. Una Inukshuk sanajanga ataatama. Upiqgaagujuq ovalukiaq auyaujuq. Qaangani takmaaqsimaviujuq titirauyaqsimajuq aqsaqniq, uluriaq aaqiksimatsiaqtut (Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Puppy ammalu Kite). Taqiriktuq. Una titiraujaqsimajuq akmaluqsisimajumi ammalu aviktuqsimajut iniqauqtut. Qulaani niaqquqma maqruuk aviksimajut pisimajut inuusinik. Ullakpunga piqataanut una sinnaktuumagilauqtara tikiutivalialunga qaumajukulukmut ammalu ungasiktualuulunni.

— Tamaqmik Sunatuinnait Taapkualu Takusimajakka 2016 Imalikmut ammalu kalaqaqtunut titirautit 76.2 × 58.4 cm

Takvangat Inuuniganit 2016-mut Inuit Art Quarterly



Winter 2017



Things from My Life 1

Sunatuinnait Inuusinit 1

A large drawing of my grandfather Agiak Petaulassie, who was an Anglican minister; a little sling shot to catch geese; a rope; the first broom that I ever saw; hair bands; a butterfly (I love butterflies); the symbol of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative that came from an original drawing by my grandmother Sheouak Parr Petaulassie; boots belonging to me and my grandmother (we had identical red boots); a Pilot Fineliner that I use to draw; a block of gold that I saw in a picture at my school; a heart flanked by a cup of cocoa (above) and my father’s fishhook (bottom left); my symbol of peace (I love being at peace); a clock; Pitseolak Ashoona’s glasses (she was my other grandmother); candy; the Bible that I would read with my mother; the candle used for services in the church with the chalice for the wine and the cracker that you got during service; the dish that held the holy crackers; the shovel used to bury people; my mother’s vase; my grandmother’s pee pot; a feather that we used for dusting; my first baby bib; a stop sign that my brothers and I used to practice stopping with on our bikes, when were too young to drive; the money symbol; my son’s casket (my grandfather and my sister are buried in the same place); an old burial ceremony, when they used rocks to cover the body; Canada—where we live.

Angijuq titiraujaqsimajuq ataatatsiara Agiak Petaulassie, Unnalu Anglican ajurisuujiulauqsimajuq, mikijumik igiqattaaqalauqtuq miluqsijunaqniarami kanguqnik; ak&unaaq; nutaaq saniuti takujariutsiaqtara; nujaqmut nimiit; taralikisaaq (piugijakka taqalikisaat); taqsangat West Baffin Eskimo Co-op-pakkut taikangaaqtuq titiqturaqgaqsimajanga anaanatsiaqma Sheouak Parr Petaulassie; Kamiik piqutiikkak ammalu anaanatsiaqma (Tamannuk ajigiiknik aupaqtuuknik kamiqalausimajuguk); Titirautiga atiqaq­ tuq Pilot Fineliner titiqtugarutigijara; kippariktuq gold takulauqsimajara ajinguaqmi iliniaq&uta; uumatinguaq avatilimaaga iqqusiqmik kokoliq­ simajuq (qulaani) ammalu ataatama iqalugasu­utata niksinga (ataani saumiani); nalunaukkutaq saimanaq­ niqmut (alianaigijara saililunga); siqingujaq; Pitseolak Ashoonaup ijautingik (una piqataa ananatsiaqra); uqumiagaq; paipaaqutit taapkua uqalimaasuukka anaanagalu; nappaqtaq atuqtausuuq tuksialiraagata tuksiaqvikmi ammalu immiuti wine-mik imaqasuuq ammalu sigalaaq tamuasurijait tamuasuk&utik; qalurauti atuqtausuuq sausijutauluni tuqun­ gajunik inuknik; anaanama aliguqutaa; anaanatsiaqma quivigivaktanga quqvik; sulu taapna atusu­urilutigut saniutigilugu; angajuk&iqpaaq nutaralaaqma nuvaaqivinga; Napajuq nuqaqvik taapnalu anikalu ovangalu nuqariuq­ saqvigiqatalauqsimajavut Bicyle&uta, nutarauluaq&uta aqutariaj­saq; una kiinaujanguaq taqsanga; iqniqma iluvingata puunga (ataatatsiaqra ammalu angajuga iluviqsimajut taikanitsainaq); nutaujuniiqtuq iluviit, atuqataqtilugit ujaqqanik sautuinanq&ugit timigit; Kanata – nunaqaqvigijavut.

Inuit Art Quarterly



Things from My Life 2

Sunatuinnait Inuusinit 2

Sled dogs and an igloo; mittens; a game with bones that belonged to my father; my father’s .308 gun and the knife that he always carried; the goggles he made out of caribou antler; a whale or walrus vertebra (this bone was only for men); my father hunting in caribou clothing; his harpoon, which he gave me and that I still have (he made it before he had a girlfriend, when he was very young); this little stone that I found under the ground that was actually the blade of an ulu (woman’s knife) from long ago; a caribou shoulder for scraping skin; the RCMP officer called Gordon, who died in a boating accident in Kinngait; a bird (I love birds, so I put this one here); a stretcher for making kamiik (boots); a little thimble; a little sewing basket; an E7 disc number photograph that I saw in a magazine; my father’s tool for making fishing nets; my little brother’s small komatik (sled); a plug from when we had electricity for the first time; an old-time pen and ink set that they used to use for drawing; the little spoon that we used when fishing to scoop the snow out of the hole in the ice; a cup; my first birth certificate; a Jolly Jumper; a female egg with male sperm; a twoheaded person that I saw in a picture (conjoined twins); dice that we would play with; a duck’s nest where we would gather eggs; a boy and a girl at the time that they are discovering that males and females are different; a ring for marriage; a spinning toy; my mother and father’s handprints; my footprints; a list of important dates, such as when we went to our camp to fish in July.

Qimuksiutit qimmiit ammalu ikluvigaq; pualuk; pinguarutit sauniqmut pigijanga ataatama; ataatama .308 qukiutinga ammalu savinga pisimainnaujaqtangit; Igangit sanasimajut tuktuup nakjunganik; aqviq ovvalunniit aiviq qimiqjungit (sauniga angutisiutituaguuq); ataataga tuktuliaqsimaluni asivaqtuqsiutingit; unaaga, taapna obannut tunisimajanga ammalu taapna suli pisimajara (sanalausimajanga piqannaaq­ taulausimanani suli, makuktuulaaluluni); una mikijuq ujarakuluk nanilauqtara ataani maniraqmi una kiinaga uluup immakalanitaaluk; tuktuup tuinganik qalurautiqasuut; Paliisikut uqalulauqtut Gordon-mut, una tuqulauqtuq umiaq­ tuq&uni piquluaqiluni Kinngani; qupanuaq (qupanuanik piuksaqtunga, taimalu taapna takvunga ililugu); tasiuktiruti kamiiknut; mikiyuq tikiq; mikiyuq miqutausivik; E7 inuit naasautigit kavamakunut ajinguaga takulauqtara uqalimaagaliarisimajuni; ataatama sanarutigit matitautiliuq&uni; anima mikijuuk qamuting­guagik; kapuvinga qaumaqutinut ikumavalisaaq&uta; ittaqnisaq imalik titirauti katingasuut atuqtausuut titiraujaqtunnit; aluutialaaq atusuurijavut iqalugasuk&uta aputaijautigilugu aklukmut; panikak iqrusiq; sivulliqpaaq inuuniqsautiga; nutaralaaq kiggiq­ tautinga; aqnaup manniga ammalu angutuip maqinga; maqruunik niaqulik inuk takulauqtara ajinguaqmit (timigik katinggajuit); igiqataat dice pinguarutigisuuvut; kanguup ivavvingga taikanilu pikiutaqpak&uta; nukappiaq ammalu niviaqsiaq qaujisariusivut angutauniqminik ammalu aqnauniq­ minik ajingiinginamik; mikiliraq katititaujunut; uijaatuinnaqtuq pinguaq; anaanama ammalu ataatama agangita inigit ammalu ovanga isigama tumigit; naasautit pimmariujut ubluit, suuqlu aulaqtiluta nunamut iqaliaq&uta July-mi.



Winter 2017



Things I Remember

Sunatuinnait Iqaumajakka

Charlie Chaplin (we saw him on TV); John Lennon’s eyeglasses; a stop sign from the South; a little necklace with a snake; jacks we played with when we were young; a snake representing the first time that I touched one; an oldtime cigarette package (for a long time they had no filter); handguns that people use in the South but not up North; vodka that kills a lot of people; the RCMP officer that was shot in Kinngait; marijuana; Greenpeace; a nursing station; a car from a long time ago in Africa; rain and clouds; a war zone where a long time ago there was a war going on; beer stein; birth control pills that my mother used for the first time; the needle that kills people and gives vaccines; playing cards; a spoon, fork and knives; the sunshine that grows everything in the whole wide world; another war zone, from WW2; a dangerous shark (they are dangerous when people are around); the airplane we used to go on before Nordair; a basketball that we used to play with; a hurricane down south; Marilyn Monroe’s glasses; a football; a rubber ball that we had as children; a snail; an iPad; the moon eclipsing; TB (the virus that killed a lot of people); an old-time Ski-Doo (from when we were first getting Ski-Doos in Kinngait); a slingshot used to catch ptarmigan.

Charlie Chaplin (TV-kut takusimajara); John Lennon ijautingik; nuqaqtaqvik titiraga qalunaanigaaqtuq; mikijuq ujamik quklugiaguaqaqtuq; Jack-sirutiit pinguarivalauqtavut nutarauluta; quklugiaq pijutilik taipsumani aktuq­ sijariurama taimaittummik; immaqnisait sigaliaqautiviniit (akunialuk kingiviqaq­ palausimangimata); qukiutaa atuq­ tausuuq inuknit qallunaat nunagani Ukiuqtaqtumiungituq. Vodka tuquutisimaliqtuq amisualukni inuknik; Paliisi qukiqtaulauqtuq Kinngani; marijuana; Umajurasuktailititijiit; aaniavik; nunasiuti imakalanisaq Africa-mit; maquk ammalu nuvujait; nunataqviujuq immakalak unatavikjuaqtilugit; beerviniq; sigainagituq iijagaq anaanama iisuunga pigiarataalauqtuq; kapuuti tapna tuquutisuuq inuknik ammalu iluaqsautaujuqtaq; makitaqtut; aluuti, kakiak ammalu saviit; siqiniqtuq piruqtitisuuq sunatuinaqnik nanituinnaq nunaqjuaqmi; piqataattauq unatavikjuaqviviniq WW2; iqsinaqtuq iqalukjuaq (ulurianaqtut iqsinaqmara inuktaqaq­ tilugu); qangatasuuq atuqtaulauq­ simajuq Nordair-kunnit; aqsaq pinguarutigivalauqtavut; piqsialuk kaivasuuq qallunaat nunagani; Marilyn Monroe ijautigit; aqsaq aqjausuuq; tasijaqtuq aqsaliarisimajut pigilauq­ simajavut nutarauluta; oviluujat; ina saatujaaq qarisaujaq; taqqiq pulamatulugu; puvakluniq (una aanianaqtuq amisualukni tuuquutisimayuq inuknik); ittaqnisaq qamutaujaq (qamutaujaqtaarataaq­ tilugu Kinngait); aqigirutiviniq.

3 Futures



Things from Away

Sunatuinnait Ungasigijatinnit

The Hindenburg; the first tree that I ever saw; the first telephone; a volcanic eruption and people running away from it; an earthquake; the space shuttle that crashed; a Canadian symbol; a Soviet Union symbol; a German symbol1; a US symbol; a Nunavut flag; a tool that my father made; diapers from when we first had them; a spoon for baby food and a bowl; a walkie-talkie that we used to use in town; the Olympic torch; the first cactus that I ever saw; an old-time wagon; the surgeon that operated on my mother; hippie-days pants; my father’s axe and hammer; ice that we used to melt for water; light bulbs, which we saw for the first time when we got electricity; a crab; a hummingbird that I actually saw in Saaturittuq when I was a child; my father’s favourite hammer; the first water tap; a raven’s footprint.

Taapna Hindenburg; sivuliqpaaq takujariuqsimajara nappaqtuq; sivuliq­paaq uqaluuti; innaaruq ikualaktuq qaaq&unilu ammalu inuit qimaaliqtut taapsuminga; nunaqjauq silataanuarasuk­tut qaaq&utik; Kanataup taqsanga; Soviet Union-kut taqsangat; German-kut taqsangat ¹; US saimaqutaa; Nunavut saimaqutaa; sanarutit taapkua ataatama sanasimajangit; quingilisat pijariuratigut; aluutialaaq nutaralaaq niqianut ammalu alukvianut; uqaluutit oovarialit atuqpalauqtavut nunatini; una Olympic ikumaga; sivuliqpaaq piruqsiaq tisijuq takujariuqtara; kalituqaq; pilaktuiji pilaksilauqtuq anaananik; Hippie pitaqaq­paktilugit qaqligit; ataatama ulamautaa ammalu ujaratianga kautaujanga; siku atuqpalauqtavut aukti&ugu imiriliq&ugu, qaumaqutit, takujariulauqtavut sivuliqpaamik qaumaqutiqalirata, kinguk, qupanuaq mikilaatsiaq takusimajara taikani Saaturittuq nutaraulunga; ataatama piugilaanga ujaratiaq; sivuliqpaaq kuvvivik; tulugaup isigajaangata tumminga.

¹ Ed. Note: German refers in this instance to Nazi Germany, spanning from 1933 to 1945.


¹ Qaujimaniaratsi: German taimanainiviniganut una Nazu Germany, Taimailauqsimajuq 1933-mit 1945-mut.

Interview: Siassie Kenneally



Things I Remember

Sunatuinnait Iqaumajakka

A polar bear (I love polar bears, but I am allergic to polar bear meat); my father’s slippers; my mother’s water pot; my mother’s tea kettle; my hat; a one-handed slingshot that you put a rock in (my brother made one for both of us); our dog who was half-husky and half-wolf; the yarn that my mother and I used to make the belt for my father’s caribou parka; my first fishing hook and spool of thread; my new slippers; my father’s boots for spring; a harmonica; a thermos; mosquitos that we don’t like in summertime; a leaf that we picked from the tundra and ate in the summertime; my first needle and thread; the first stretched sealskin that I made myself; male and female clams that we used to dig up at low tide; blackberries that we gathered in fall; whale tail for the women’s feast; the first fox that I cleaned and stretched by myself; the first slippers that I made from sealskin; flint and rocks used to start a fire; dried fish meat; an amauti (woman’s parka) that my mother made; bees that are dangerous; my father’s mittens for the spring; my first fish; a little game made of wood with a metal end that we would play with; a tool to get the snow off of skin clothes (this could be antler); leaves that I used to eat from willow trees; my father’s handmade knife; my first pencil and eraser; the fox trap that I used to help set; summertime flowers that I love; a drying rack (that would be used above a qulliq); my first ulu; my first duffel sock; aged walrus meat; my pet rabbit.

Nanuq (piugijakka nanuit, kisiani timima piugingitangit niqirukku niqingit); Ataatama iklumisiutigik; anaanama uunaqtuqautaa qattaq; anaanama tealiurutaa; nasara; ikliunnaqmuk miluuta ujaqamut (aniga sanalauq­ simajuq igiqattaaqmik imminut ammalu ovannut); qimmivut inuit qim­ milataarigitanga ilaqalauqmat amaruqmik; nuviqsaaksaq taapna anaanagalu ammalu ovanga sanalauqtavut ataatama qiluanga qulitanganut; sivuliqpaaq iqalugasuutiga ammalu ivalunga; nutaak iklumisiutikka kamiik; ataatama kamaalungit upinqqaaq atusuungit; supuugaq; niklisuittut; qikturiat taapkua piugisuuringitavut aujauliraagat; uqaujaq amulauqtara nunatuinami ammalu nirilugu aujakkut; sivuliqpaaq miqutiga ammalu ivalu; sivuliqpaaq paukturiuqtara qisik nak­ miniq sanajara; angutit ammalu aqnait kukikjuit saugijaqatalauqtaka sikjamit ulisimatinagu; paungait taapkua nuasimajakka ukiaksaaq; aqviup saqpiga aqnanit nirijauniaqtuq; sivuliqpaaq tiriganiaq aaktara ammalu pauktuktara nakminiq; kamilaaqtuqsiutiik sanalauqtaka taapsumanga amiqmit; ujaqatkasuktilugit ikualatitiniq; piti; amauti una anaanama sanajanga; milugiat ulurianaqtut; ataatama pualungit atuqataqniaqtangit upinqraaq; iqalugiuqtara; mikijuq pinguaruti qijuuluni savigajaaknik tiriquqaq&uni pinguarivaluaqtavut; piquti aputaijauti amiqnut annuraanut (una nakjuujun­ naqtuq); uqaujaq nirivalauqtara tamaanga iviknit; ataatama nakminiq sanaugani savik; sivuliqpaaq titirautiga ammalu piijaijutiga; tiriganiaqmut kiigiaq taapkua ikajuqatalauqsimajunga aaqiksuq&ugit; aujakkut nunarait piugijakka; paniqsiivik (aturajaqtara nivingajuq qulliup qulaani); sivuliqpaaq uluga; sivuliqpaaq aliqsiikkak; igunaq aiviq; tiguara ukaliq.

Inuit Art Quarterly






Things from the South

Sunatuinnait Qalunaat Nunaganit

Tim Horton’s coffee; brown sugar that we had in the old days; an eagle from the US; ice cream; a lollipop; the matches that we used long before we had lighters; our favourite candy (liquorice and mint); a piece of paper; a black-and-white TV that we had for the first time; the CBC news; coffee; Export “A” tobacco; Players tobacco; jam; butter; Red Rose tea; toothpaste; candy; a toddler chair; a lighter; a little toy we played with; sugar cubes; Carnation milk powder; a baseball; a baseball bat; a hockey stick and a puck; a record player; a ribbon; money; a candy cane for Christmas; cherries and candies shaped like fruit; bullets; pilot biscuits; a present; toffee; coins (a penny, nickel, dime and quarter); tobacco; little gums that were in a package; a pretend cigar made from candy; nails.

Tim Horton kappee; qiniqtaq siuraujaqtuq pivalautavut immakalak; kigaviaqjuk US-mit; icy-kream; ipulik nugusarak; ikkitiit atuqpalauqtavit ikniqaqpaknata suli; mamarilaara uqumiarak (qiqniqtait ammalu suviq­ naqtut); atausiq alilayuq; kalaqangituq talaviisa pitaarijariulausimajavut sivuliqpaamik; CBC-kut tusagaksat; Kaafee; Export “A” takvaakiq; Players takvaaki; jam; batta imuujaaqtuq; Red Rose tea; kigutisiuti immaga; uqumiagaq; pisugiuqsimajup iksivautanga; ikniq; mikijuq pinguaq pinguarivalauqtavut; siuraujaaqtut kippariktut; Carnation immuk paniqtuq; anauligaaq; anauligaaqtut nasanga; una hockey anautanga ammalu anauganga; nipiliurutit; qilaksimajuq; kiinaujaq; uqumiakaq niksilik quviasukviksiuti; cherries ammalu napaqtaq piruqtunguaq; sunagait; sivat tisijut; tunniqusiaq puuqsimajuq; toffee; siqaliit ( una 1-sa, 5-sa, 10-sa, ammalu quatta); takvaaki; tamuajagait mikijut puuqminiitut; cigar-guaq uqumiagaq; kikiat.

Winter 2017



Things from Cape Dorset 1

Sunatuinnait Kinnganit 1

A ship called the Nascopie that sank; first co-op building; my father’s pipe; the seal that I held for the first time just before it died; my first drum; my father’s axe; my first bracelet, which had my name on it (it says “Siassie” in Inuktut syllabics); my father’s gas tank; his tool and his chisel; James Houston; an old metal gas tank; oil for Ski-Doos or motors; the first post office sign; my mother’s bucket for doing laundry; old oil storage vats on which Kananginak [Pootoogook] made a drawing (a big truck would deliver it to the houses); what I learned in school: units of measure, algebra, the alphabet (English above and Inuktut below), numbers, and colours. (I loved school. I loved learning about everything. I loved gym, sports, soccer, hockey, football, volleyball and karate. I got to blue belt and then we went to the military base, and I became a Brownie and a Girl Guide. I loved learning about the law, the court system and the federal government; about criminals, being a physician, an accountant, a judge; taking care of money and budgeting; astronomy, sunshine, minerals, water, ocean, air and clouds. Everything!)

Una umiaqjuaq atuqaqtuq Nascopiemit taapnalu kiviniku; sivuliqpaaq co-op iklu; ataatama supuuqtuuta; natsiminiq tigujariuqtara tuqulauqnaga; sivuliqpaaq qilautiga; ataatama ulamautaa; sivuliqpaaq taliara, atinnik titiraqaq&uni (titiraqsimajuq “Siassie” Inuktitut); ataatama uqsuqautaa; sanagutigit ammalu tuunga; James Houston; nutaungituq savirajak uqsuqautiviniq; uqsitiruti qamutaujaqmut ovvalunniit immaqsiutinut; sivuliqpaaq titiqakuvik atinga; anaanama qattanga anuraanik uasaqniarami; nutaungituq uqsiqtiruti qataujait taapsuma Kananginak [Pootoogook] titiqtugaujaq­ vigivalauqtanga (angijuq nunasiutimit kiviktausimaluni aatauvalauqtuq iklunganut); ilitilautunga iliniaqvikmi; naanainiq, pijaqnigitut naasausiriniq, taiguutit (Qalunaatitut qulaani ammalu inuktut ataani), naasautit, ammalu kalait. (quviagijara iliniariaksaq, quviagijara ilitivalialunga sunatuinnamik tamainik. Gym quviagijara, pigusautiniq, aqijaqniq, hockey, aqsaqtut, volleyball ammalu karate. Tungujuqtamik tirik­ siutiqaqtunga ammalu unataqtuksani ilisaqsimajunga, ammalu Browniegulauqtunga ammalu Girl Guide. Quviagijara ilitijariaksaq maligalirijunik, iqaqtuivilirijunik ammalu kavamatuqaq­ kunnik, pillugit pirajaksimajut, iluaqsailunga, naasausirijiulunga, iqaqtuijiulunga, paqilugit kiinaujait ammalu kiinaujqtuutit, silaqjuapta asiani ullurialu, siqinniqtuq, ujaraniagak­sait, imaq, imavik, aniqsaaqtavut ammalu nuvujait. Tamaqmitsiaq!)

7 Futures





Things from Cape Dorset 2

Sunatuinnait Kinnganit 2

Our tent, made by my mother, by hand, with an old fashioned sewing machine; a bow drill to make fire; a ball that my father used to use to exercise his hand; a rock with holes; a juniper branch for making a fire; a tool used to hunt hooded seal; the first co-op where I met James Houston and Terry Ryan; a scarf that I used to wear; a honey bucket and new toilet; a ship’s wheel; my father’s kakivak (fishing spear); a Pepsi can (my favourite pop); an accordion toy made of string and two marbles; a Coca-Cola bottle; camping fuel; a funnel; a gas lamp; flour; a sign for the Housing Corporation; my father’s chisel.

Tupiqput, sanajanga anaanama, nakminiq tupilianga, nutaungitumut miqsuutinut; ikualaksiti niuqtuut; aqsaq ataatama atuqataqtanga iqailisaq&uni aggaminik; ujaraq akmajuqauqtuq; una juniper qijuk ikualasuuq; sanarutit atuqtausuut natirasuktunit ukjukmik; una sivuliqpaaq co-op taikani takujariulauqtara James Houston ammalu Terry Ryan; nasaruvaaq atusuura; quqvik ammalu nutaaq quqvik; umiaqjuap aqutinga; ataatama kakivanga; Pepsi imigaqauti (mamarilaara imigaqni); ingirutit pinguaq sanasimajuq qilarutinut amalu maqruuk aliguuk; Coca-Cola imigaqauti aliguq; supuujuuq uqsuksanga; kuvivik; Gas-simuuqtuq kiksaut; nunaraq; atingga angijuq Iklulirijikkut; ataatama tuunga.

The artist's comments are based on interviews with Patricia Feheley in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, in February 2016 and in Toronto, ON, in May 2016.

Ukua sanaguaqtiup uqausigit maliktut apiqsuutiviniginik taikani Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, February 2016 ammalu taikani Toronto, ON, ubluga May 2016.

Interview: Siassie Kenneally



The Quest for New Arctic Visions: Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) and Indigenous Digital Storytelling



ALONE The Quest for New Arctic Visions

Released on November 18, 2014, this groundbreaking and widely celebrated video game has been downloaded by over 3 million players, selected for over 75 “Best of” lists and won multiple awards including a recent BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and Game of the Year at Games for Change. Beyond industry accolades, however, Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) marks a significant shift in Indigenous representation in the spheres of digital arts and new media— one that is deeply rooted in traditional cultural values with an eye to the future.

As a tribal non-profit organization Cook Inlet Tribal Council (CITC) serves about 10,000 Alaska Native individuals each year, connecting them to opportunities and education, employment and training, child and family services and recovery services. A little over ten years ago the board of directors made a decision to expand what we were doing with social enterprise, which we’ve been engaged in since we were formed 35 years ago. We had been looking at additional ways we could move away from being dependent on federal and state funding. About five years ago, we were looking for our next project and realized we were completely missing the connection with our youth through our pre-existing social enterprises. When we thought about what really resonated with our youth, our traditional games came to the forefront, as well as the fact that we knew they were on social media and using video games—all the places we weren’t as an organization. That was when our CEO Gloria O’Neill said, “Why not video games?” We started the process by looking around the industry to see who was out there and doing work that was aligned with our values. E-Line Media kept coming to the surface as the company that was really pushing the field in terms of “Games for Change”. So we invited them to come to Alaska. Which they did; in January, in the middle of a blizzard. One of the most fundamental steps to producing a game that would honour our people was to have E-Line meet with a group of artists, storytellers and youth. What came through in these early sessions was that our stories are one of the most important ways that we pass wisdom forward, from one group to the next. It was at this time that the choice was made to focus on the Iñupiaq culture, in part because we wanted to show who we are as people at a time when the Arctic is increasingly opening to outsiders. Throughout the process we had 24 cultural ambassadors who worked closely on the game, but we also engaged the entire community of Utqiaġvik (Barrow) throughout the development process. In turn,

Inuit Art Quarterly

the E-Line team came up to Alaska over two dozen times to share progress on the game, as well as to undertake testing in the school in Utqiaġvik. That connection was probably the most powerful one. One of the things I am most proud of is that we were able to have a young Iñupiaq writer, Ishmael Hope, embedded with the design team to help write the narrative for the game, which is based on a story we call Kunuuksaayuka. One of the stickier points had to do with the Spirit Helpers, and because Ishmael was there, he was able to guide the creation of that aspect to really honour our values. The other thing that was different about developing a game with an Indigenous community was honouring traditional intellectual property rights, which is a very Western term. We had to somehow meld Western intellectual property ownership with our traditional values. For the Iñupiaq, we don’t own the stories we tell—they are passed down from generation to generation. Often times stories can be very similar between villages, and we had to navigate how to walk through that. Robert Nasruk Cleveland is the storyteller who is most known for the Kunuuksaayuka story, so we wanted to gain his permission, but we knew he had passed away many years ago. We sought out his oldest surviving child, Minnie Gray, who is also a storyteller and culture bearer in her own right, for permission. When I went and visited her for the first time, I asked her what she thought about turning this story into a video game. She said, “Of course you should. This is how my great-grandchildren are going to hear this story.” I think Never Alone has really set the bar for games based on Indigenous cultures and demonstrates that if you’re going to make a game about an Indigenous culture, you need to make it with them.

Amy Fredeen

Executive Vice–President/Chief Financial Officer, Cook Inlet Tribal Council, Inc.; Lead Cultural Ambassador, Cultural Insights, Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna)


Winter 2017

I grew up hearing some of our traditional stories, but was not fully aware of the values embedded in those stories. Being a part of the team that made this amazing game has been a gift. I have reconnected with stories long forgotten, and have been able to realize how important storytelling is for passing on wisdom and values. ­­Am­y Fredeen Lead Cultural Ambassador, Cultural Insights

From the very beginning, this project was a partnership. We made a commitment to spend a lot of time in the community, both in Anchorage and Utqiaġvik. But they also attended game shows and really immersed themselves in this complex and evolving medium. All of this went into, what we now call, an Inclusive Development Process. Alan Gershenfeld Founder and President, E-Line Media

It was important to me that the game represent the Iñupiat authentically. One of the biggest inspirations for me was being able to talk with artists and to look closely at the art and other cultural artifacts. We did a lot of this work in the collections of the Anchorage Museum and the Iñupiat Heritage Center in Alaska and the Seattle Art Museum and the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, both located in Washington State, near our studios. Inuit art has a very strong voice through its use of material and its aesthetic approach, and it was important for me that this be reflected in the finished game. Dima Veryovka Art Director



Sean Vesce researching in the vaults of the Smithsonian Museum, 2014 BOTTOM

Elder Minnie Aliitchak Gray with Helen Roberts recording voice-over for Never Alone



The Quest for New Arctic Visions


Concept art of a hunter MIDDLE

Concept art of the Owl Man with his drum BOTTOM

Concept art of a wolf character NEXT PAGE

Concept art illustrating the legend of the Little People — ALL ILLUSTRATIONS BY DIMA VERYOVKA

Inuit Art Quarterly


Winter 2017

Our language is precise. In the Iñupiat language, there’s a specific word for each thing. Many of our kids now have lost the language, but some are trying to learn. This game is part of that, and, by helping to translate for it, I am able to be part of that too. Anna Nageak Translation, Cultural Insights


I believe that through this game, somebody might become interested in the language. It could give them a spark of the possibilities in the Iñupiat language—in any language. You have to learn a new physiology of how sounds are made to learn a new language. Never Alone could make someone want to do that. James (Mumiġan) Nageak Translation, Voice Over, Cultural Insights


I want people to know that we are rich in oral histories and that we are at the forefront of the unfortunate effects of climate change up here. I hope the game succeeds! I hope […] people get to learn of the Iñupiat culture and the stories [we have] passed down. Tommy Nageak Founder and President, E-Line Media

The Quest for New Arctic Visions

Inuit Art Quarterly


Winter 2017

I have a four-year-old grandson, so I’m learning video games. If Never Alone [can reach] the young people, whether they live in a village or outside, it will make them want to connect to their heritage and learn more. I did this because of my grandson. I want him to play a game that has the history of where he comes from. Aggie (Patik) Kellie Cultural Insights

A vast number of stories of Indigenous Elders—as it was told in the language— are works of pure beauty and poetry. The team has found a story from such a storyteller: Robert Nasruk Cleveland. Though it would require more deep investigation than one video game to fully understand, it is personally satisfying to me that we were able to elevate and celebrate one of the world’s greatest storytellers.

Working on this game has been incredibly rewarding. The ability to be both a teacher of my culture and a student of game culture was tremendous. I hope people everywhere enjoy playing and learning through this work. Ronald (Aniqsuaq) Brower, Sr. Iñupiat Translation, Voice Over, Cultural Insights

Ishmael (Angaluuk) Hope Writer, Storyteller, Cultural Insights


The main character Nuna with her Arctic fox in the Icy Caves BOTTOM LEFT

Nuna speaks to the Owl Man ABOVE RIGHT

Nuna communicating with the owl spirit BOTTOM RIGHT

The Man Slayer, a character in Iñupiat legends, rendered in a scrimshawinspired style



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Paving the Way Forward Tiktak: An Artist and His Work

by John Geoghegan


Bob Williamson and John Tiktak visit the exhibition Tiktak: Sculptor from Rankin Inlet, N.W.T. in Winnipeg, March 1970 WINNIPEG TRIBUNE FONDS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA ARCHIVES & SPECIAL COLLECTIONS PHOTO ERNEST MAYER

Inuit Art Quarterly


Winter 2017


John Tiktak (1916–1981 Kangiqliniq) — LEFT Mother and Child c. 1963-64 Stone 13 × 8.9 × 8.6 cm TWOMEY COLLECTION, WINNIPEG ART GALLERY PHOTO ERNEST MAYER

Tiktak’s one-man show was a watershed moment in the field of Inuit art. It paved the way for the hundreds (if not thousands) of solo shows that followed.

At the time of writing this piece, there are no fewer than five solo exhibitions of Inuit artists open across North America.¹ The solo show, be it a new body of work at a commercial gallery or a large-scale retrospective at a major institution, is an important marker in the career of any artist. Given their ubiquity today, it is difficult to imagine a time when solo exhibitions of Inuit artists were rare, or that there was ever a definitive “first”, but indeed there was. Tiktak: Sculptor from Rankin Inlet, N.W.T. opened on March 4, 1970, at Gallery One One One in Winnipeg, MB, and marked the first formal retrospective of an Inuk artist. Noted art historian George Swinton, then Director of Exhibitions at the School of Art at the University of Manitoba, curated the exhibition. In the catalogue, which was also the first solely dedicated to an Inuit artist, Swinton writes, “In May 1964, I took my first trip to Rankin Inlet. The two artists who caught my immediate attention were Tiktak and Kavik.… Though Tiktak is the much younger of the two, his art is more archaic. It is mostly for this very odd reason that my personal choice for this first retrospective exhibition was Tiktak; obviously my choice for the next will be Kavik.”² Looking past Swinton’s outdated language, we see he was undoubtedly attracted to John Tiktak’s (1916–1981) striking, monumental stone figures, whose stylized faces resemble Thule wood and ivory carvings. The exhibition featured 50 stone carvings from 19 private, public and corporate Futures

collections across Canada (many of long marginalization of Inuit art by mainwhich have since found their way into the stream art-audiences, it was largely necessary permanent collection of the Winnipeg in 1970. Art Gallery). Works were organized chronoTiktak’s one-man show was a watershed logically and featured Tiktak’s best-known moment in the field of Inuit art. It paved the motifs: smiling faces, lone figures, mothers way for the hundreds (if not thousands) with children and clustered heads. of solo shows that followed. Though difficult On Wednesday, March 18, just four days to definitively prove, it seems likely that before it closed, Tiktak himself visited the soon after the closing of Tiktak: Sculptor from exhibition, attended a press conference and Rankin Inlet, N.W.T. there has always been, gave an interview to The Winnipeg Tribune without interruption, at least one solowith translation provided by Professor R.G. exhibition of an Inuit artist open at any Williamson, a fellow resident of Kangiqliniq given time somewhere in the world. Inuit art (Rankin Inlet), NU, and early supporter of history has the rare privilege to be able to the artist’s work. “Everything I do,” the pinpoint the exact moment that exposure for Tribune quoted the artist, “is evocative of my artists began, one not enjoyed by many other tremendously strong feelings about my fields, but then again, not every discipline family.”³ Tiktak’s familial connections resonate has an artist as captivating as John Tiktak. from the black-and-white illustrations in the catalogue. The 28 illustrations reveal tender moments between mothers and children, NOTES joyous groupings of exuberant heads and ¹ In the fall of 2017 the following solo exhibitions of solitary moments of contemplation. Upon Inuit artists are currently on view: Barry Pottle: The first glance many appear similar, but closer Awareness Series (June 28, 2017–January 14, 2018) looking reveals that each figure is rendered at the Art Gallery of Hamilton; Annie Pootoogook: with its own personality and character; no Cutting Ice (September 2, 2017–February 11, 2018) doubt each is a portrait of a family member at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection; Myths, Legends, and Stories: Sculpture by Abraham Anghik or close friend. Ruben (September 17–December 31, 2017) at the It appears that Swinton was keenly Dennos Museum Center; Shuivnai Ashoona: A For aware of the exhibition’s importance: “No Sure World (October 14–November 15, 2017) at longer are we looking at isolated or odd Marion Scott Gallery; and Pitaloosie Saila: A Personal Journey (October 28, 2017–May 13, 2018) at the works of an occasional carver or of an exotic Winnipeg Art Gallery. souvenir marker; this exhibition reveals ² George Swinton, Tiktak: Sculptor from Rankin Inlet, N.W.T. an artist and his work,” he wrote. Swinton’s (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1970), n.p. declaration that Tiktak was an artist seems ³ “Tiktak fashions soapstone into tales of Eskimo perhaps superfluous now, but given the life,” The Winnipeg Tribune, March 19, 1970. 57



Carving Home: The Chedoke Collection of Inuit Art Art Gallery of Hamilton JUNE 28, 2017–JANUARY 14, 2018 HAMILTON, CANADA

Josie Nulukie (1931–1980 Inukjuak) — LEFT

Boiling Water To Make Tea c. 1953–63 Steatite, plastic, leather, wire and wood 20.8 × 36 × 24 cm ALL ARTWORKS THE CHEDOKE COLLECTION OF INUIT ART, ART GALLERY OF HAMILTON

by Caitlin Sutherland

In 2016, the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH) was gifted a significant collection of Inuit art coinciding with the closure of Hamilton Health Sciences’ Chedoke campus, formerly the Mountain Sanatorium, a designated tuberculosis treatment centre for the eastern Arctic, which hosted over 1,200 Inuit between 1953 and 1963. As a form of occupational therapy, and at their request, male patients would carve, while women would sew, embroider and make dolls in their beds. At the height of the epidemic, the sanatorium housed well over 300 Inuit patients, outnumbering larger eastern Arctic communities such as Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, which had a population of less than 100 at the time. As such, Hamilton, ON, constituted one of the largest bases of Inuit art production and sales at a time when collecting such Inuit Art Quarterly

works had become desirable in the South and they had begun to reach a mainstream market.¹ The works on display in Carving Home: The Chedoke Collection of Inuit Art, illustrate, as the title suggests, depictions of patients’ memories of the North, primarily through steatite carvings.² Some pieces immediately stood out and continued to resonate, including Moses Meeko’s (1920–1975) Canada Goose, Loon and Owl, as well as Johnassie Tukallak’s (1912–c. 1985) Feeding Geese (both c. 1953–63). These carvings, displayed together, feature intricate incised details, distinguishing them from other works while evoking a contemporary illustrative feel. The exhibition is organized thematically highlighting traditional hunting and fishing scenes as well as Arctic wildlife. 58

Some displays foreground trade and market preferences, and, most poignantly, a number of works depict notions of home and loved ones left behind. Josie Nulukie’s (1931–1980) Boiling Water to Make Tea (c. 1953–63) portrays a woman wearing an amauti (woman’s parka) and lighting a qulliq (oil lamp) inside a section of an igloo complete with a drying rack, kettle and detailed accents constructed from leather, plastic and ivory. It feels unfortunate that only one display includes the work of unidentified women, in this instance dolls from Nunavik, but the vitrine stands out for their use of colour, scale and detail, particularly in depicting regional differences in parkas and amauti. While this collection of 132 objects represents a very specific moment in history, Winter 2017


Moses Meeko (attributed) (1920–1975 Sanikuluaq) — BELOW

Loon c. 1953–63 Steatite 8.5 × 11 × 6 cm

and is of national and regional significance for both its quality and quantity, it is important to likewise critically contextualize it within a broader historical and reflective narrative. Patients often arrived in Hamilton with only the clothes on their backs, indicative of the speed with which they were removed from their homes for treatment:

The works on display [...] illustrate, as the title suggests, depictions of patients’ memories of the North. Most poignantly, a number of works depict notions of home and loved ones left behind.

without warning, without preparation and without choice. Many never returned home, and to this day some family members still don’t know where their relatives are buried. While the Department of National Health and Welfare intervened based on the scale of the epidemic (introduced by outsiders such as traders and missionaries) for fear of the eradication of an entire population, this action, and the method with which it was carried out, has an undeniable colonial imprint that is understated within this exhibition. It is a missed opportunity, particularly given our current historical moment and contemporary museological practice, to not present an unbiased portrayal of the collection within the exhibition’s didactics. This said, the AGH has been careful to provide a critical counterpart. Situated in the same room, and impossible to view separately from Carving Home, is an installation of works by contemporary Inuk artist Barry Pottle. Probing the fraught history of the Eskimo Identification Tag System, The Awareness Series contrasts photographs of identification discs next to portraits of individuals who were enrolled in the system. From the 1940s to the 1970s discs issued by the Canadian government assigned Inuit with personalized numbers, indicating where

they lived and their relations. Many of the artists featured in Carving Home signed their pieces using their assigned identification number and the juxtaposition of Pottle’s photographs provides an immediate platform with which to acknowledge, humanize and ultimately critique the federal government’s treatment of Inuit in recent history. Mounted within a relatively short time frame following the acquisition, Carving Home does leave the impression of a swift gesture to share its regional importance (and donation) with audiences. However, the AGH acknowledges that this marks the beginning of an important consultation process in order to better understand and reconcile the collection’s complex history. To do so, the museum intends to mount a permanent installation that will be “driven and led by Inuit voices and experiences, [and will be] fully respectful of their histories, experiences and memories”. It will be interesting to see what shape this takes, particularly given the ongoing tuberculosis crisis in Nunavut and the residual traumas that continue to be felt in communities today. Regardless, the AGH is now in a unique position to present, question and challenge the legacies of this sensitive history, should it choose to do so.

Installation view of Carving Home: The Chedoke Collection of Inuit Art at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2017 PHOTO ROBERT MCNAIR


¹ For additional context, Sue Gustavison has previously written about the history of the collection in the Inuit Art Quarterly (23.4, 11–16) and has contributed an essay for inclusion in the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s forthcoming publication on the collection. ² Carving Home was curated by Nancy Campbell, with exhibition consultation by Emily Cowall and Nancy Anilniliak and research by Ingo Hessel.





Dorset Seen Catalogue Carleton University Art Gallery PUBLISHED 2017 OTTAWA, CANADA

by Elisha Lim The cover of Dorset Seen featuring Shuvinai Ashoona’s Untitled (People lining up to sell artwork), 2012

Dorset Seen is the newly minted catalogue for the 2013 exhibit that explored 60 years of contemporary Inuit art at the Carleton University Art Gallery (CUAG). Co-curated by CUAG Director Sandra Dyck and Leslie Boyd, curator and former Marketing Director for the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative, the primary art buyer for Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, the exhibition and catalogue are dedicated to the community’s self-representation throughout six decades of radical upheaval Inuit Art Quarterly

and colonization. Taken as a whole, the selected drawings and sculptures narrate a very local and specific continuum. Boyd, who was a long-time Kinngait resident, opens the catalogue with the essay “Kinngarmiut Taututtangit ‘Dorset Seen’”, followed by interviews with artists Tim Pitsiulak (1967–2016) and Ningiukulu Teevee. Her essay casts an introductory net over a vast and troubling history, but, in its brevity, risks minimizing the systematic trauma of 60

federal programs. For example, residential schools are summarized in one paragraph as “a sad chapter”, and the complicated arrival of the art market is condensed as “the Canadian government’s plan to raise the standards of living amongst Inuit.” Despite providing readers with a solid foundation in the nuances of Kinngait’s evolution as a major artmaking centre, the essay would have benefitted from more pointedly addressing these complex periods, which would have better grounded the reader for the subsequent critiques in the remainder of the catalogue. In contrast, Boyd’s fond conversation with long-time collaborator Ningiukulu Teevee illuminates warm personal and specific details about Teevee’s life as a daughter, grandmother and illustrator of the Governor General Literary Award– nominated book Alego (Groundwood Books: Toronto, 2009). In her interview with Tim Pitsiulak, the striking centrepiece is his 2009 drawing Carver’s Income, in which a carver walks atop the blade of a giant grinder in a perpetual cycle of art production, with garish yellow plastic hardware store bags weighing heavily in one hand and slung over the other shoulder. The grinder’s cord winds, curves and plugs into a giant socket in his house, generating heat, electricity and rent in a frank and poignant statement about the reliance of the community on the colonial art market—a fraught relationship that Dyck further contextualizes in her subsequent essay. “Standard Deviations” is critical and direct, providing a rich, nuanced history of the unequal symbiosis between Kinngait artists and the colonial art market and criticizes federal social programs that, starting in the 1930s, advanced commercial objectives at the expense of Inuit communities. Dyck Winter 2017

Dorset Seen is an important contribution to a burgeoning body of critical artwriting on the history of Kinngait, a field of study that Dyck acknowledges is still in its early stages.

provides poignant case studies of artists like Kenojuak Ashevak, CC, ON, RCA (1927–2013), one of the community’s first exported artists, whose vivid, absorbing drawings, such as Bird With Spirit (1967), were titled to please “the white man,” at the same time as her family and home life were being destroyed. Ashevak, Dyck writes, barely weathered the painful years referred to as “Nunalinnguqtitauliqtilluta,” or “the time when we were actively [by outside force] formed into communities.” Dyck also traces the emergence of exploitative national policies from an ideology of primitivism–a prejudice that has also been nurtured in the the art world–and describes the callous conundrum of imperial appetites: in 1965 the Globe and Mail quoted that Inuit art was “over”, because Western contact had forced it to evolve too much. For that reason it was a defiant and risky act to break these rules. Dyck illuminates the courage of bold autobiographical works, like This Had Touched My Life (1991-92) by Oviloo Tunnillie, RCA (1949–2014) or Paulassie Pootoogook’s (1927–2006) Honda ATV (1986), whose experimental gambles forced open new chapters of contemporary Inuit art. Dyck quotes Pootoogook, who describes how difficult it was to sell any carving but animals, a demand that he boldly defies in the aformentioned work, honing the sleek green and black steatite to faithfully reproduce the entire quad bike from its bevelled grips to its dimpled leather saddle. Dyck’s rare omissions are also worth considering. There is a notable silence around the public response and racism following the death of Annie Pootoogook (1969–2016), whose meteoric career occupies a key section of the catalogue. Its omission must have been a wrought decision, but for a catalogue that thoughtfully curates what must be “seen,” it is an odd absence. Overall, however, Dorset Seen is an important contribution to a burgeoning body of critical artwriting on the history of Kinngait, a field of study that Dyck acknowledges is still in its early stages. Dyck and Boyd’s writings, and in particular the artist interviews, therefore, offer a promising start and one that will also, ideally, continue to foreground the voices and scholarship of Inuit artists and art historians to come. Futures

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The Breathing Hole The Stratford Festival


Jani Lauzon as Huumittuq in The Breathing Hole, 2017 PHOTOS CYLLA VON TIEDEMANN



The company of The Breathing Hole, 2017

by Jessica Kotierk

Written by Colleen Murphy and directed by Reneltta Arluk, The Breathing Hole is part of the 65th season of the Stratford Festival. Running just over two and a half hours, the play follows a polar bear named Angu’juaq from cub to death at a single breathing hole in the Kitikmeot Region (Central Arctic) of Nunavut. The bear is brought to life, first as a hand puppet then as a life-sized costume. Over the course of his 500-year life, he is adopted by an elderly Inuk widow, grows to find a mate, meets the British Franklin Expedition and bumps into science researchers and oil drill security personnel. The final scene projects a New Year’s cruise ship where passengers behave carelessly to the dire consequences of climate change; Inuit Art Quarterly

Angu’juaq is by this stage grey, haggard and desperate. Arluk is the first Indigenous director at the Festival and took great consideration to present cultural authenticity. From the earliest phases of pre-production (which included extensive consultations) to the actors on stage the production is bolstered by Inuit input. Over the course of several months, Arluk worked with and consulted numerous Inuit cultural producers. Inuit dramaturgy and cultural knowledge support was provided by Siobhan Arnatsiaq-Murphy, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, Miali Buscemi, Mary Itorcheak, Vinnie Karetak, Alika Komangapik and Annabella Piugattuk. Specialized consultation of Inuktut was 62

overseen by Arnaoyok Alookee and Kevin Eetoolook, with Inuit props guided by Koomuatuk Curley, Inuit costume consulting by Beatrice Deer and Inuit make-up and tattoo design by Lucy Tulugarjuk. The benefits of this involvement are apparent from the earliest scenes, which heavily feature Inuit characters and notable costumes and make-up that engage the audience with more subtle yet practical Inuit cultural qualities, such as food-sharing and consensus decision-making. The small 251-seat theatre allows for close viewing of the actors and the transformative set, the focal point of which is the breathing hole itself, delineated first by “ice blocks” and later as a void in the stage’s Winter 2017

Terry Ryan 1933 ~ 2017 Photo courtesy of Canada Council for the Arts / Martin Lipman

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surface. For the duration of the show, it functions variously as a gathering point, a seal hunting post for both humans and bears, a flag holder and marker lost to sea ice melt, an oil drilling perimeter line and ultimately a final resting spot. The show stars Canadian Inuit actors Miali Buscemi and Johnny Issaluk, and Greenlandic actor Ujarneq Fleischer. Issaluk first appears as Nukilik, an Inuit hunter reluctant to adopt a bear cub and then downtrodden to be reliant on the bear’s hunting skills. In later scenes, Issaluk becomes Totalik, an oil platform security guard, who now relies on the wage economy. Issaluk’s character arc is a powerful comment on the perceived loss of self-reliance in Inuit society. The large cast of supporting characters provided astute snapshots of society, both colonial and Indigenous. Sir John Franklin, in particular, is presented as fresh and appealing unlike his usual obstinate character. Although the central themes of culture clash and climate change are sobering, it is the humour that is woven throughout that lingers. The entertaining storytelling by the exaggerated but loveable Inuit hunters creates a welcoming sense of community while the mishmash of British explorers serving tea and dancing on the slippery ice is charming. When the cultures meet, the language barrier is navigated with penis jokes. There are even light-hearted moments through to the dire final tableau, a powerful and striking image to walk away with. Most notably, The Breathing Hole takes an important step forward in the public portrayal of Inuit and succeeds in both inviting audiences in while also granting Inuit characters deep emotion and complexity. Futures

2017-10-24 10:53 AM

Inuit Art Gallery Carvings I Drawings I Prints I Gifts Toronto . Jordan Village . Ottawa




In Memoriam: The Inuit Art Quarterly Remembers

Terry Ryan (1933–2017)


Barnabus Arnasungaaq (1924–2017)

Inuit Art Quarterly


Born in the Kazan River area of Nunavut in 1924, artist Barnabus Arnasungaaq lived a traditional life on the land until his family relocated to Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU. He began carving in 1961 and his work soon found a captivated audience in the South. Though he produced a few experimental prints in the late 1960s, Arnasungaaq is recognized as one of the most influential stone carvers of the Kivalliq Region. Arnasungaaq passed away in September 2017, leaving behind an incredible legacy of artmaking that spanned nearly 60 years. He is best known for his robust sculptures of umingmak (muskox), carved with undulating lines and simplified form, dictated by the hard local stone and his refusal to use electric tools to carve. Arnasungaaq was a respected elder and tremendous influence on his community. He will be dearly missed by his friends and family, including his sons, David and Norman, who are also carvers, and the Inuit art community. When asked where his ideas came from, the artist responded with this powerful statement: “I don’t know where I get my ideas… I look inside myself. Sometimes before going to bed, I examine the stone, carefully. And in the morning I know what it will be. To the new generation of Inuit carvers, here and across Nunavut, I recommend this: carve the way you want and not the way the white man tells you—remember you are an Inuk.”


Terry Ryan (back) with artists Parr, Kiakshuk, Pitseolak Ashoona, Kenojuak Ashevak, Eegyvadluk Ragee, Lucy Qinnuayuak, Napachie Pootoogook and Pudlo Pudlat in Kinngait, 1961

“The future lies with those who wish to take up the challenge, supported by those understanding of their needs.” These prophetic words were penned by Terry Ryan, celebrated arts administrator and lifelong champion of Inuit artists, in the second issue of the Inuit Art Quarterly. An outspoken advocate for the field and an early supporter of the Inuit Art Foundation, Ryan passed away in August 2017. After graduating from the Ontario College of Art, Ryan began working for the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative (WBEC) in 1960, becoming the General Manager soon after. A Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, resident for 40 years, Ryan was instrumental in the marketing and production of printmaking, drawings and sculpture from the hamlet. Ryan worked for WBEC until he relocated to Toronto in 2000 to oversee Dorset Fine Arts, the marketing arm for the co-operative that he helped establish in 1978. Ryan’s extensive contributions to the field didn’t end with Kinngait. In 1964, he travelled to Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River), Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet) and Ikpiarjuk (Arctic Bay), where he provided Inuit with paper and pencils and invited them to draw whatever they wanted, purchasing all of the finished drawings months later. The resulting drawings were most recently the subject of the touring exhibition Picturing Arctic Modernity: North Baffin Drawings from 1964 (2017–ongoing). Ryan worked tirelessly for over half a century to advocate for, support and celebrate Inuit artists, and will be remembered for his remarkable contributions. “Terry Ryan dreamt big,” remarked Hon. Dennis Glen Patterson in his remarks to the Senate Chamber on September 20, 2017. “Many non-Inuit have come north to seek treasure or advancement or, yes, to make their mark, but few are loved and respected as Terry Ryan was.” Ryan, whose legacy will be felt for years to come, will be dearly missed by his friends across both the North and South.


Winter 2017



Mary Yuusipik Singaqti (1936–2017) One of Qamani’tuaq’s (Baker Lake), NU, most respected textile artists, Mary Yuusipik Singaqti, passed away in late September 2017, following a fifty-year career. The second-youngest daughter of Jessie Oonark, Singaqti was married to artist Norman Singaqti. She began her career in the arts as a stone carver in the early 1960s, but quickly became known for her wall hangings, which she began making between 1963 and 1965 while Gabriel Gély was crafts officer at the Sanavik Co-op. Her colourful textile works, filled with incredibly detailed embroidery, depict scenes of hunting, travelling and community life—references to living traditionally on the land, before settling in Qamani’tuaq in 1960. Her textiles are notable for their incredibly dense and precise stitching, which she utilized to add incredible detail to figures’ clothing and animals’ fur and feathers. For much of her career, Singaqti resisted drawing, claiming that people said her drawings too closely resembled those of her brother William Noah. She finally picked up pencils in the late 1990s, at the recommendation of David Ford, General Manager of Jessie Oonark Ltd. Singaqti began making drawings that incorporated the fine detail and flattened perspectives of her wall hangings, but, unrestricted by the constraints of textile, her drawings are more precise and lively. Many of her bright, colourful drawings and textiles will be the subject of an upcoming solo retrospective at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. The artist was quite nervous about the reception of her artwork, “I worry if people are going to like them,” she was quoted saying. “We were always brought up not thinking you’re too famous or too proud.” Despite the artist’s reservations, we’re certain her work will be embraced.

Samonie (Sam) Toonoo (1969–2017)


Samonie Toonoo, the trailblazing artist who pushed against traditional ideas of what Inuit sculpture could be, passed away in September 2017. He was the youngest son of artists Toonoo and Sheojuke Toonoo and brother of Jutai Toonoo and Oviloo Tunnillie. Surrounded by artists in his hometown of Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, Samonie began to carve in the early 1990s. From the outset, he made mature work that shared with audiences his unique, unexpected and affective viewpoint. Samonie’s early works depicted animals and human figures with fine detail and exceptional quality. Over time, he began to imbue his works with surreal, macabre and grotesque elements, which earned him an enthusiastic audience in the South. He had the ability to create works that were both delicate and disquieting, emerging from his imagination and experience. His artwork also addressed important social issues, including the continued effect and trauma of colonization on Inuit. Samonie’s wildly imaginative steatite and bone sculptures have been included in solo and group shows across the country. Significantly, his work was on display in Scream, a two-person exhibition that showcased his work, alongside that of Ed Pien, at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery in 2010. Some people, when they come from a family of visionary artists, shy away from making work that pushes the envelope for fear that they won’t be able to live up to the work of their relatives. This is untrue for Samonie Toonoo, who, despite being the brother of two of the most important artists of their time, made incredibly provocative and personal work. Samonie will be remembered for carving his own path with seal, skulls, shamans and spirits.





Updates and highlights from the world of Inuit art and culture

Tytoosie Tunnillie (b. 1974 Kinngait) Spirit 1996 Serpentinite 27 × 18 × 7 cm COURTESY GLOBAL AFFAIRS CANADA

Inuit Art Takes Off at Iqaluit Airport

Royal Collection On View in Japan As a celebratory gesture of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation, Inuit art from the collection of Princess and the late Prince Takamado has been donated to the Embassy of Canada in Japan. The donated pieces, along with other works from their collection, were included in the exhibition Inuit Carvings from the Prince and Princess Takamado Collection (September 13 –  November 21, 2017), held at the Embassy’s Prince Takamado Gallery and featured works by Nuna Parr, Qaqaq Ashoona (1928–1996) and Kellypalik Qimirpik (1948–2017). The late Prince Takamado attended Queen’s University in the late 1970s and returned to Canada a number of times, having developed a fondness for Canada, including Inuit culture and art. After their marriage, Prince and Princess Takamado visited the Canadian North on two occasions, meeting Inuit artists and developing a deep appreciation for their work. Inuit Art Quarterly


On August 13, 2017, the newly finished Iqaluit International Airport officially opened its doors to the public. The 9,000-square-foot terminal is eight times the size of the former airport—the iconic 1980s-era yellow-painted building, familiar to many—and boasts ample display space for the dozens of works of Inuit art on loan from the Government of Nunavut and Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG) collections. Included are 58 sculptural works and 13 wall hangings that were selected by Darlene Coward Wight, WAG Curator of Inuit Art, and Eduardo Aquino, public art consultant. “We tried to have every Nunavut community represented,” explains Wight. “We thought it should showcase a broad display of techniques and styles in sculpture. The chosen wall hangings represent the three main communities where textiles are created–Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung) and Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet).” The installation was overseen by WAG Chief Curator Andrew Kear, Head of Museum Services Radovan Radulovic and Preparator Serge Saurette, as well as Krista Zawadski, Government of Nunavut Curator of Inuit Art. To complement these smaller scale pieces, monumental reproductions of four Inuit prints, including works by Kenojuak Ashevak, CC, ON, RCA (1927–2013), Pudlo Pudlat (1916–1992) and Andrew Qappik, as well as three wall hangings, were created to fill the main arrival space, a rotunda with towering ceilings and curvaceous red seating. A large-scale sculptural work by artists Looty Pijamini, Greg Morgan, Leevity Paneak and Eepeebee Campbell is also currently in production. Inaugural Cultural Repatriation Award Given On September 20, 2017, The Field Museum of Chicago, Illinois, and the Nunatsiavut Government were presented with the inaugural Cultural Repatriation Award by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK), Canada’s national Inuit representation organization. Winter 2017

The organizations were jointly recognized for their work between 2008 and 2011 to return the remains of 22 Inuit to the territory. The remains were stolen in the late 1920s by William Duncan Strong, an assistant curator working on behalf of the museum at the time. Strong dug up marked graves in the community of Zoar, a nowabandoned settlement located between Hopedale and Nain. The remains were kept as a part of the museum’s collection until their return to Nunatsiavut in 2011, where they were reburied. The museum covered all costs associated with the transfer. “The work to right this historical wrong was driven by the relentless efforts of the Nunatsiavut Government. This prize recognizes the partnership and cooperation that are required to bring about reconciliation,” said Natan Obed, President of ITK, in a statement. “Cultural repatriation—overcoming the legacies of misappropriation—is fundamentally about respect and moral standards. We applaud the Nunatsiavut Government and The Field Museum for serving as an example to organizations across North America and around the world.” Inuit Art Historian Receives Trudeau Fellowship Art historian and curator, Dr. Norman Vorano has been awarded a 2017 Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation Fellowship to create the Arctic Cultural Heritage Research Network (ACHRN). The project aims to reconnect Inuit communities in the High Arctic with their cultural heritage, which is largely spread across museums in the South. Taking the form of a web-based platform, ACHRN will enable Inuit to share their cultural knowledge through a reciprocal exchange process, while also accessing global museum collections digitally in their own communities for use in educational curriculum and other cultural initiatives. We would like to congratulate Dr. Vorano, who has been a frequent contributor to and past Editorial Advisory member for the Inuit Art Quarterly.

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First Steps Taken to Establish a Nunavut Heritage Centre In early October 2017, the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) announced a conditional pledge of $5 million towards the establishment of a Nunavut Heritage Centre in the province’s capital of Iqaluit. In a statement, the QIA board expressed their belief, “that it is time for Inuit [artworks], artifacts and ethnographic material to be returned to Inuit homelands,” citing that the Government of Nunavut expends over $1 million annually to cover the cost of storing and preserving more than 140,000 Inuit objects outside the territory. “Establishing a heritage centre is recognized as an urgent need,” says P.J. Akeeagok, QIA’s President. The QIA pledge requires that the project, estimated at $70–$90 million, also receives financial assistance from the territorial and federal governments, other Inuit organizations, as well as private fundraising. Nunavut remains the only province in Canada without a designated heritage facility “to house and present its history”. Futures

“Hunter Throwing Harpoon” Lucassie Echalook E9-1648 (1942 – cont.) Part of the Shirley Smith Collection Inukjuak, Nunavik, c. 1964 H: 7.25” x W: 4”




Heather Campbell Rigolet

Envisioning a future for the community of Rigolet, NL, centuries hence, this work by graphic artist Heather Campbell pictures a new Arctic reality where permafrost has given way to lush, forested landscape. It is an unnerving, if ultimately optimistic, view of the future made possible in part by Illustrating the Future Imaginary, a project spearheaded by the Initiative for Indigenous Futures, based at Concordia University, which asked several Indigenous artists “to illustrate themselves or their Indigenous communities seven, ten or twenty generations from now.” In this ethereal and dream-like rendering, Inuit communities continue to flourish, fashioning partially buried homes to protect them from increasingly extreme weather patterns. Each is paired with a self-sustaining water supply and fitted with solar panels. “People will be forced to spend a lot of their time underground and everything is connected by tunnels,” explains the artist. “We are all living in the hills now because the polar ice caps have melted, raising the sea level.” She continues, “I think that no matter what gets thrown at us, we’re still here. Through the harsh environment that we’ve occupied from time immemorial until now, as well as the effects of colonialism, we’re still here. Somehow we always find a way to adapt and to thrive. It’s our ingenuity that keeps us going from generation to generation.”

Heather Campbell (b. 1973 Rigolet/Ottawa) — 7th Generation Inuit Community 2015 Pen, ink, litho crayon and coloured pencil on Mylar 58.4 × 44.5 cm COMMISSIONED BY THE INITIATIVE FOR INDIGENOUS FUTURES COURTESY THE ARTIST

Inuit Art Quarterly


Winter 2017



Nunavut Performing Arts & Cultural Learning Centre

invites you to be our partner in an historic event : Nunavut is the only territory/province without a space to create and present performing arts Stories and music provide children and youth with a sense of belonging Inuit stories, songs, dances and the drum were banned during colonization and are being reclaimed by Inuit artists The performing arts are the most effective way of securing a language at risk

Canada needs a space for Inuit performing artists

to create, build skills, teach youth and present their work!

For more information on how to help us: Facebook: @Qaggiavuut Twitter: @Qaggiavuut

Ready to see Inuit Art in a whole new light? TD Inuit Art Collection celebrates its 50th birthday. Open to the public, free of charge, seven days a week.

Samonie Toonoo, Hip-Hop Dancer, Cape Dorset, 2007. Image: Toni Hafkenscheid. Reproduced with the permission of Dorset Fine Arts.

Visit or TD Gallery of Inuit Art at 79 Wellington St. West in Toronto. ÂŽ The TD logo and other TD trade-marks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.


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