Whether they happen in person, online, or in some new form yet to be determined, 2021 is chock full of upcoming Inuit art events. Here are the ones you need to know about this year.
Charles Stankievech The DEW Project installation view, confluence of Klondike and Yukon rivers, Yukon Territory, Canada, 64°03’ N, 139°27’ W Courtesy the Artist
HELLOLAND! Art, War and the Wireless ImaginationThe Rooms, St. John’s, NL
January 23rd - April 18th
HELLOLAND! Art, War and The Wireless Imagination explores wireless communication and its inevitable role in art, war and in Canadian culture. Curators Darryn Doull and Melony Ward interrogate our relationship with the wireless world and its impact on our interaction with the land and people around us.
Combining the works of Maureen Gruben, Qavavau Manumie and other works from contemporary artists, alongside historical paintings, archival documents and artifacts, this exhibition observes the ways technology has changed us, from gathering in the living room listening to the outside world, its stories, songs and news, to the anxiety inducing broadcastings of wartime events. Wireless communication has had both unifying and polarizing effects that cannot be denied.
—Bronson Jacque, Contributing Editor
2021 Book ReleasesInhabit Media
May - August 2021
Arctic publishing company Inhabit Media is set to release several new children’s books in English and Inuktut this year, and we can’t wait! Included on the list are: Tuktu Says by Nadia Sammurtok, If You're Happy and You Know It by Monica Ittusardjuat, This Is What I See by Looee Arreak, Nanuq's Baby Brother by Nadia Sammurtok, Palluq and Aksaajuq Help Their Anaana by Jeela Palluq-Cloutier, Willy's New Pup: A Story from Labrador by Sherry Blake, Berry Picking at Four Mile Bay by Barbara Adjun and Spencer the Siksik Makes a New Friend by Nadia Sammurtok.
Written for children ranging from newborn to age nine, young readers will enjoy learning about and relating to stories of young Inuit learning about their homeland and helping and learning from Elders. As usual, Inhabit has brought us books that are rich with beautiful illustrations and stories written by Inuit around Inuit Nunangat, and we love it!
—Napatsi Folger, Contributing Editor
Slash/Back film (still) (2019) Courtesy Slash/Back Film
Originally set to release in 2020 and then delayed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the thriller Slash/Back from director Nya Innusuk recently wrapped shooting and is now primed for a 2021 release date. Following the stories of a group of youth on the brink of young adulthood in Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), NU, the supernatural tale at the core of the plot is told alongside stories of the growing pains of each of the protagonists.
Touching on everything from everything from monsters and aliens to first crushes and complicated family relationships, the film primarily draws inspiration for its action-packed plot from traditional stories that have been passed down through generations. With special effects that bring frightening creatures to life and a cast of characters worth rooting for, this is a movie you can’t miss this year.
—Emily Henderson, Profiles Editor
Qaumajuq, Winnipeg Art GalleryCOURTESY OF MICHAEL MALTZAN ARCHITECTURE
With its new Inuktitut name in hand, Qaumajuq—meaning “it is bright, it is lit,”—is set to open in February 2021. Constructed to house the combined Inuit art collections of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Government of Nunavut, which feature more than 13,000 Inuit carvings, textiles, prints and more, Qaumajuq will allow for the display of a greater number of works than previously possible through a central visible vault, which can house upwards of 1,000 sculptures at a time.
The inaugural exhibition, INUA, will integrate old, modern and contemporary works from all media and weave them together with innovative programming, curated by an all-Inuit team representing all four corners of Inuit Nunangat, including IAF board president Dr. Heather Igloliorte, Krista Ulujuk Zawadski, Kablusiak and asinnajaq.
—Jessica MacDonald, Online Editor
Shuvinai Ashoona Untitled (2019) Coloured pencil 76 x 112 cm Reproduced with permission Dorset Fine Arts Courtesy Marion Scott Gallery © Shuvinai Ashoona
Shuvinai Ashoona: DrawingsMay 7th - November 21st
Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, Florida
Graphic artist Shuvinai Ashoona will be featured in a major solo show at ICA Miami this coming spring, marking her first solo U.S. museum exhibition. Curated by Director of the Knight Foundation Art + Research Center Gean Moreno, Ashoona’s signature creatures and landscapes will find a temporary home in the ICA’s sprawling and light-filled ground floor.
Known for her brightly coloured depictions of everyday life in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, coupled with the surreal, Shuvinai Ashoona: Drawings comes on the heels of several major achievements for the artist in recent years including Shuvinai Ashoona: Mapping Worlds, a mid-career survey curated by Nancy Campbell and organized by the Power Plant Contemporary Art in 2017, and the 2018 Gershon Iskowitz Prize which includes a forthcoming solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. While this isn’t Ashoona’s first presentation in Florida—the artist showed at Art Basel Miami in 2008—I’m looking forward to seeing how the artist’s unique vision of her Arctic home translates to the city's summer heat.
—Britt Gallpen, Editorial Director