If you’re like us and you can’t wait for this year to turn over, here are five of IAQ staff’s most-anticipated Inuit art events to mark on your 2022 calendar.
Artists and festival goers gather together for a Community Drum Circle at the 2019 Adäka Cultural Festival PHOTO ALISTAIR MAITLAND PHOTOGRAPHY
Arctic Arts Summit
From June 27 to 29, the city of Whitehorse, YT, will play host to the third annual Arctic Arts Summit—a biannual gathering that brings together representatives from across the circumpolar world. With participants from across the North, the program aims to foster connection and collaboration and centres artist-driven exchanges and Indigenous voices. With an overarching artistic program curated by Inuit Art Foundation Board President Dr. Heather Igloliorte and Nuihaȓuq, the 2021 Arctic Arts Summit Performance Arts, curated by Artistic Director (and IAF Board member) Reneltta Arluk, the summit will focus on Connecting to Land as a guiding theme. I was fortunate enough to attend the last summit in Rovaniemi, Finland, in 2019 and if that was any indication, the 2022 summit will be a can’t-miss event.
– Britt Gallpen, Editorial Director
Tanya Tagaq "Tongues" (2021)
COURTESY THE ARTIST
Tanya Tagaq’s Tongues
Due for release on January 21, Tanya Tagaq’s new album Tongues was produced by Saul Williams and mixed by Gonjasufi. If the preview singles “Colonizer” and “Tongues” are any indication, this album is going to be an intense sound experience. Tagaq’s lyrics directly reference colonial oppression and systemic and ongoing harm to Inuit perpetrated by churches and the Canadian government, and the industrial beats reflect the emotion of that cultural experience. With deeply resonant baselines, unparalleled throat singing–inspired vocals and spoken-word layers, this album is sure to make sound and social waves in the new year.
– Napatsi Folger, Associate Editor
Jessie Oonark Composition (On The Land) (c. 1967)
COURTESY FEHELEY FINE ARTS
Double Vision: Jessie Oonark, Janet Kigusiuq and Victoria Mamnguqsualuk
Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto, ON
February 16–August 14
Featuring the work of three Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU, artists—Jessie Oonark, OC, RCA (1906–1985) and her daughters, Janet Kigusiuq (1926–2005) and Victoria Mamnguqsualuk (1930–2016)—Double Vision examines the distinctive art form of nivingajuliat (or wallhangings), which flourished in Qamani’tuaq from the 1960s onwards.
Brightly coloured textiles rich in embroidery and applique, nivingajuliat were conceived by the women of Qamani’tuaq as a way to depict the dynamics and interrelationships between people and animals in the community. Through this exhibition, curator Candice Hopkins will explore the ways this matriarchal practice resulted in unique aesthetic and conceptual lineages for these three artists.
– Jessica Macdonald, Associate Editor
COURTESY THE ARTIST
Jamesie Fournier’s The Other Ones
This coming fall, Inuk writer (and IAQ contributor) Jamesie Fournier’s debut book, The Other Ones, will be released by Arctic publisher Inhabit Media. The Other Ones tells the story of a mother and daughter who travel to their cabin only to find their fishing net damaged. After mending the net, the daughter stays up late making string figures with the remnants of the net, disregarding the warnings her grandmother and mother taught her about playing string games. Combining Inuit mythology and the horror genre, The Other Ones is surely a book you’ll want to read with the lights on.
– Lisa Frenette, Associate Editor
Annie Pootoogook, Composition (Licking the Plate Clean) (2004–2005)
COURTESY THE ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION DORSET FINE ARTS
I AM HERE: Home Movies and Everyday Masterpieces
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON
April 16–August 24
The Art Gallery of Ontario’s major spring show, I AM HERE, focuses on multimedia works that capture everyday activities, including photo-taking, television and even grocery lists, revealing how artists, well before social media came along, have always documented their lives. The exhibition includes Itee Pootoogook’s (1951–2014) photographically rendered drawing Houses during early 70's in Cape Dorset, and two drawings by Annie Pootoogook (1969–2016): the cozy family scene, Skinning a Seal in the Kitchen, and the immensely satisfying Composition (Licking the Plate Clean).
I am particularly excited to see how the context of these three Inuit drawings may shift—and no doubt shine—as companions to works by other favourite artists in the show, such as Patti Smith, Mary Pratt and Arthur Jafa.
– Sue Carter, Deputy Editor