Wednesday 31 May 2023

Inuit Sanauganit: Art Across Time

While I was in Winnipeg (Canada) recently, I went to The Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq to see the amazing exhibition Inuit Sanaugangit: Art Across Time

The huge exhibition included work by artists spanning from 200 BCE to now, so we decided to start in the smaller, top floor gallery and work our way down. There were a number of sculptures here and walking space around each, in order to view in three dimensions.

The mezzanine-like top floor gallery, allowed me to look down on the main gallery. This view shows only a portion, maybe a third, of what awaited!

The catalogue of work, names and years was far-ranging and included finely decorated weapons, such as this bolus

detailed drawings on horn bone

and utility items such as pipes. It also contained traditional textiles, such as clothing, and I enjoyed earwigging on a school tour to hear some stories and facts related to various works.

This is an enormous exhibition that encompasses Inuit art forms from 200 BCE to now, so it contained traditional older work as well as contemporary work by Inuit artists. 

The catalogue accompanying the exhibition was so huge that it was impossible for me to keep track of new vs old work and artist names.I was always glad of the careful spacing of sculptures, allowing the viewer to see it easily from all vantage points, especially larger ones, such as this, which changed so drastically from one side to the next.

The exhibition included sculpture, drawing, painting, textiles (tapestry and clothing) as well as printmaking. Having recently taken a Japanese woodblock printmaking course. which I blogged about here, I was delighted to see the woodblock displayed with the print allowing me to examine the registration marks and carving techniques. The woodblock carving itself being seen as an artform always makes me think of Canadian artist Paterson Ewen, whose paintings I greatly admire.

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