Strange Scene, 1964
stonecut on paper, 49/50
60.2 x 86.3 cm Image: 22.5 x cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; The Swinton Collection
Kiakshuk was in his seventies when he began making drawings in the first days of the Cape Dorset printmaking project in the 1960s. His work was a mainstay of the annual collections from 1960 to 1967, with a total of 52 stencils and stonecuts rendered from his drawings during this period. Kiakshuk’s art springs from his life as a respected hunter and shaman. His images are usually rendered in great detail with defined clothing patterns and expressive faces. This print shows the seemingly benign subject of a family travelling on the land, but it also conveys a sense of the many supernatural beings that are part of the shamanic world. The viewer can see the strange creatures that float above and below the human figures, while they stare in alarm but are unable to share in the viewers’ or shaman’s vision.