Archive for March, 2010

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

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


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.

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