Nunavik North of 60

In discussions and exhibitions of Inuit art from Nunavik, attention usually focuses on the larger communities of Inukjuak and Puvirnituq. This exhibition features art that has been created in several of the smaller Inuit communities located above the 60th parallel on the Ungava Peninsula in the region of Nunavik, Northern Quebec.

Carvers who originally lived in camps near Inukjuak and Puvirnituq were the first to create sculpture for export to southern markets in the late 1940s and early 1950s. This was the beginning of a carving industry in the Canadian Arctic, which was gradually extended to other areas. That artistic expansion included the small Nunavik communities of Salluit, Ivujivik, Kangirsuk, Kangiqsujuaq, and Akulivik. There are many treasures from these lesser-known communities in the WAG’s collection of Inuit art and this exhibition will be an opportunity to see works that are not exhibited as often as those from larger artistic centres such as Cape Dorset and Baker Lake.

One of the best-known artists in the exhibition is Mattiusi Iyaituk (b. 1950) from Ivujivik, represented by the innovative sculpture Old Qulliq Being Carried by a Woman (2000). Thomassie Kudluk (1910–1989) is also known for his quirky and idiosyncratic carvings. Makusikalla Qullialu (1930–1989) is not well-known, but his large sculpture Caribou and Otter (c. 1970) is a moving, anthropomorphic interpretation. The exhibition will feature 30 sculptures dating from the mid-1950s to the early 2000s, by male and female carvers from all the small communities in Nunavik.

The Inuit Art Foundation has created a website about this exhibiton with pictures of all the works in the show, information on each of the communities and artists represented, and much more. Click here to connect. 









Jobie Arnaituq, Shaman with Seal Spirit, 1979.

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