I thought it would be fun to write about Canadian art exclusively this week, in celebration of Canada Day this Wednesday.
I recently saw, and fell in love with, art by Ningeokuluk Teevee. She’s an Inuit artist from Cape Dorset. Her drawings and prints caught my eye in the Nunavut Gallery in Winnipeg. (See my post from July 17, 2014, and make sure you visit Richard at the gallery the next time you are in the ‘peg. Be forewarned: Richard’s passion for Inuit art is infectious, and the amount of great art in the gallery is overwhelming.)
Teevee’s images offer unique perspectives. They are often based on Inuit stories and myths, and are quite charming, and even humourous, at times. The Inuit Gallery of Vancouver has a brief interview with Teevee on their website.
In 2009, Teevee’s children’s book, Alego, was shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award for children’s book illustration.
….most Canadians wouldn’t recognize her name, but many would be familiar with some of her artworks, especially the iconic The Enchanted Owl, which was featured on a Canada Post stamp.
Kenojuak Ashevak was the first Inuit woman to make art at the Cape Dorset Print Shop. She began to sell her prints at the annual Cape Dorset print release in 1959.
John Feeney produced a National Film Board of Canada film about her in 1963. It’s a lovely film, with glimpses into her life, and the process of printing from stone cuts. (It was nominated for an Academy Award in 1964.)
She received international recognition when she participated in the World’s Fair in Osada in 1970. She was prolific, and eventually worked in various forms of printmaking, as well as drawing and sculpture.
Kenojuak Ashevak became a role model for other indigenous artists. She received numerous awards in her lifetime, including the Order of Canada, and the Governor General’s Award for Visual Art.
She was born in an igloo on Baffin Island in 1927, and died on January 7, 2013 in Cape Dorset. She left an amazing legacy.
……the Nunavut Gallery is not to be missed. It’s in an unassuming building which is, I suspect, too often overlooked. (I confess I only visited recently.)
This gallery is like a kiwi fruit. It’s dull on the outside, and bursting with visual delights on the inside. Richard Kroeker has collected a treasure trove of Inuit art. The space is bursting with sculpture (polar bear sculpture, anyone?), prints, drawings and wall hangings.
There is so much good work in this gallery that I’ll warn you now–don’t go unless you’re prepared to be awed and amazed…..and have plenty of time. The collection of work is extensive (I barely scratched the surface of the prints) and Richard has a wealth of information he is more than willing to share.
All the ‘stars’ of Inuit print art are represented here: Jessie Oonark, Pudlo Pudlat, Simon Tookoome, Luke Anguhadluq and, joy of joys! the grande dame, Kenojuak Ashevak.
A final warning: The quality of the artwork, and the ridiculously low prices may cause you to buy an artwork…..or three.