Maybe you’ve had enough resolutions for today. But if you’re up to one more challenging idea, read on……
Something is wrong, I know it, if I don’t keep my attention on eternity. May I be the tiniest nail in the house of the universe, tiny but useful. .……………………… Attention is the beginning of devotion.
Mary Oliver, Upstream in Blue Iris
Vigilant Owl by Kenojuak Ashevak 2007
We can count on poets to challenge us. Mary Oliver is no exception. The beauty in her work consistently surprises me, and leads me to think more …realistically. Her ‘big’ ideas are grounded in the world around us, particularly the natural world.
Wishing you, and our world, a year of awareness, usefulness and peace.
Along with printmaker Michael De Courcy, he created over 80 limited edition serigraphs (silkscreen prints) that depicted northern and western Canada.
He is probably best known for his children’s books. In his tribute to Ted Harrison, Robert Amos quotes Ted’s business manager, “Ted doesn’t need any promotion. Every school child in this country knows him.”
His artworks worked well as illustrations for children’s books. His stylized landscapes suited the storybook genre. As well as books of his own, he colourfully illustrated the two Robert Service poems, The Shooting of Dan McGrew and The Cremation of Sam McGee, which was named a Best Book by the New York Times.
Winchester Galleries has a magnificent Harrison painting, Realms of Gold, currently on display…..and for sale. (It was still available the last time I checked!)
In 2009 at Painter’s Lodge in Campbell River, B.C. Ted Harrison said, “So my artistic life is just painting what the devil I like, and I usually start by drawing the lines–and they’re usually curved, which I got, I think, from the Maori. All their designs are curved lines. So I drew curvilinear lines and put colour in them.
So you could say my artistic life is just a waffle and a wiggle, but it’s all imaginary.”
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.