Ningeokuluk Teevee‏ (Part 3)

Months after my last post about this talented artist, I am still infatuated with Ningeokuluk Teevee’s work. Here are some more glorious images to mull over!


The Woman and the Caterpillar
(Inuktitut: Arnak ammalu Auvvik)
Cape Dorset 2006
Stonecut & Stencil

Composition (Three Owls)
Cape Dorset 2009
Ink, Pencil Crayon

Cross Current
Cape Dorset 2005
Lithograph

Dress
(Inuktitut: Angijuqtaq)
Cape Dorset
Etching & Aquatint

Caribou Spirit
Cape Dorset 2007
Stonecut & Stencil on Kizuki kozo white

Teevee was nominated last year for a 2009 Governor General’s Literary Award in Children’s Literature, Illustration. This prestigious Canadian honour is bestowed annually in multiple literary categories.

Alego, is written and illustrated by Teevee. It tells the story of Alego, an Inuit girl living in Kinngait (Cape Dorset) and her experiences with her grandmother. The idea was born from Teevee’s own memories.

An illustration from the book

Below is a quick interview conducted by the National Post last fall regarding her nomination.

Q:  You are the only nominee who also wrote the book, as well as illustrating it. So what came first: the visuals or the story?
A:  The visuals. That came first. I had the story in mind, but the pictures came first before I wrote down the words.

Q:  So what inspired this book?
A:  My childhood. My own community. My first experience going off to the shore. My first memory is going down to the shore when the tide was low, and my grandmother asked me to follow her down to the beach to go clam-digging. So it’s about my first memory with my grandmother … Those [sea creatures] are the things that I saw for the very first time. Everything [experienced] for the very time we don’t forget very easily.

Q:  What’s the artistic community like in Cape Dorset?
A:  There’s many people here with many talents. It’s busy for me. I’m attending school right now, studying to become a teacher. I still do art work on the side.

Source: National Post

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Kananginak Pootoogook Exhibit

Back in March, I posted a blog on the Museum of Inuit Art and mentioned the current exhibits being shown. I am happy to report that the Kananginak Pootoogook retrospective has been extended until the end of June! If you’re in the Toronto area go check it out. I know I’ll be there before it ends!

The museum is currently operating on summer hours until September 6th.

Sunday to Wednesday: 10am – 6pm
Thursday to Saturday: 10am – 8pm

Their admission rates are very reasonable too! Adults are $6, seniors and students are $5, and children under five are free.

And a side note to all readers: I still love working on this blog. Some major scheduling changes have come up since I began in January which has made it difficult to post on a regular basis. Some of you sent me messages of encouragement that were so inspiring. I will do my best to keep this blog up-to-date. And of course, if there are any topics you think need covering or are curious to learn about, please don’t hesitate to comment!

I Love Tanya Tagaq!

I cannot say enough good things about Tanya Tagaq. She is an amazingly gifted, throat singer, painter and actress. You may remember her from one of my first blogs about Tungijuq, a film she starred in that addresses the Inuit cycle of life.

Isuma TV, a fantastic source for all things Inuit media related, has launched a new micro-site dedicated to Tagaq’s work. It features tour dates, news, discography, pictures, videos and more.

Check out the website here.

To listen to some of Tagaq’s work, visit her MySpace page here.

Tanya Tagaq also has a Twitter account to keep you up-to-date on her life and adventures. Check it out here. Don’t forget to add her to your own Twitter feed!

Museum of Inuit Art

The Museum of Inuit Art (MIA) is located at Toronto’s waterfront. It is southern Canada’s only museum dedicated solely to Inuit art. With both a permanent collection and touring exhibitions, the MIA offers something new every time you visit.

There are five galleries in the museum.

1. Artistic History and Thematic Foundations of Inuit Art

2. Diversity of Styles and Artistic Expression

3. Masterworks and Contemporary Sculptures

4 and 5. Special Exhibitions and Audio-Visual Presentation Centre

There are currently two temporary exhibitions at the MIA. One features large scale drawings from Kinngait, the other is a retrospective on Kananginak Pootoogook, one of the most prolific Inuit visual artists.

I highly recommend a trip to this inspiring, one-of-a-kind museum.

For more information on the MIA, visit their website.

All images provided by the MIA website.

Art on an Iceberg

A Dutch artist arranged two large sculptures on an iceberg in Greenland on Friday, March 19 to raise awareness about climate change, and people will be able to monitor it online as the ice melts.

Ap Verheggen, a 45-year-old artist from The Hague, said he had built the swirling metal sculptures, which represent a dog sled, to highlight the impact of a warmer climate on the Inuit people, who struggle to move around on thinning ice.

“The sea doesn’t freeze. People can’t trust nature anymore,” Verheggen said, before the five meter sculptures were lifted by helicopter onto the iceberg.

“As an artist, I see it as a sort of mission to make people aware of what’s happening over here.”

In Uummannaq, an Inuit village of fishers and hunters on an island in northwest Greenland, the sea did not freeze enough this winter to form the thick ice needed for hunters to travel around the fjord on dog sleds.

Meanwhile, the thin ice that did form on the sea locked their boats in the harbor, further restricting their movements.

“We see the amount of sea ice is diminishing very fast,” said Gert Polet from conservation group WWF, who helped fund the project. “A lot of ecosystems and a lot of animals depend on the sea ice for their survival, also people who live in the Arctic.”

Verheggen said he had built two sculptures to reflect the Inuit tradition to always take a companion on journeys into the unknown.

“When Inuits travel to an unknown destination, they always go in twos,” he said. “Where this iceberg is going to and when the trip ends- who knows, and therefore it’s two.”

People will be able to monitor the iceberg as it melts and drifts through the Arctic via the project’s Web site

http://www.coolemotion.org

Go to Reuters to check out a video further detailing the event.

via reuters.com

Ningeokuluk Teevee (Part 2)

Sometimes Inuit art can feel inaccessible, a world away from what is familiar to the viewer. But that’s also a reason to love art, any type of art. It opens you up to a new way of seeing the world, whether the subject matter is familiar or not.

Contemporary Inuit artists now come from a place of cultural diversity. Many depict the way Western culture has, for better or worse, been a part of their everyday lives.

Teevee is a wonderful example of an artist who express this notion.

This stonecut and stencil print entitled Yesterday, illustrates that the Inuit have not been isolated from “modern” life for a couple generations. A record player and The Beatles were a part of Teevee’s world, just like it was a part of the viewer’s world.

In Shaman Revealed (2007), Teevee takes a modern interpretation on the legend of Kiviuq, an Inuit hero. Kiviuq encounters a fox in human form on one of his journeys. Teevee allows the fox to reveal her true self through the use of a zipper.

Shaman Revealed was also the cover of The Walrus magazine in November 2007.

More still to come on Teevee, including her first book.

Ningeokuluk Teevee (Part 1)

Ningeokuluk Teevee is currently one of my favourite Inuit visual artists. She was born May 27, 1963 in Cape Dorset, Nunavut.

This drawing, Imposing Walrus (2009) is currently on the cover of Inuit Art Quarterly (IAQ), Winter 2009 (Vol.24, No.4). I love Teevee’s use of space on paper and attention to fine detail.

Seasonal Migration (2009) is a depiction of a caribou herd on the move. Her use of space and colour is fantastic, but what really makes much of Teevee’s work stand out is her adoption of graphic design.

She is also becoming known for her representations of traditional Inuit stories, which have been making a resurgence in Inuit art.

This print is entitled, Sedna’s Wonder (2009). For those of you who don’t know, Sedna (she also goes by other names, depending on which group of Inuit you ask) is a sea goddess according to Inuit legend.

She began as a young girl who was orphaned, and therefore the responsibility of her entire village. Sedna was often teased by children and sometimes seen as a burden by the adults because of her status.

One day, as her group was preparing to go hunting on the sea, her fate would change. As she went to climb into a kayak, some boys pushed her into the sea. She tried to hold onto the kayak to keep from drowning, but they chopped off her fingers and Sedna drowned.

As she sank deeper into the sea, she began to transform into a supernatural being, half human, half sea animal. She was now a part of the underwater world; a sea goddess representing and protecting all sea creatures.

Teevee’s detailed representation of Sedna includes stubby fingers, a mermaid-esque tail and a well-maintained hair-do; she is known for her love of braids.

More to come on Teevee, including the Beatles and her first book.