May 23, 2023
by Katherine Takpannie and Taqralik Partridge 

Bringing together images from Katherine Takpannie’s Amiat series (2015–ongoing) with new poetry by Taqralik Partridge, Tauttuq—meaning "the colour of" or "the appearance of" in the Nunavik dialect—aims to capture and hold that which is mutable and changing through photography, colour and language. 


if you are a legend amongst your people
they will bear your emblem
in their pockets
on their tongues
in their hearts

if you are a legend amongst your people
you are never lost in the crowd
never forgotten in the landscape

if you are a legend amongst your people
in their eyes you are always
dressed in brilliant colours
if you are low
to the ground they uplift you

your light is their beacon
even when you cannot see it

they see it
they see you
they tell you

you are here
we are with you


in culture class
there was a big bag
of beads of all
shades, so
we had to dig to find our colours

to this day i swear
if i have a pile of gold
or vermilion or any other
colour just sitting there, i feel

an embarrassment of riches

electric blue dress and a perm at the christmas games

wild polyester florals


                           red-rimmed black rubber boots

                      neon green leg-warmers in salluit

                 red and white soccer jerseys in rankin

             yellow aviators

          monster energy drink all over your parka

        red mustang suit

      red jerry can

     red sewage light

   red big mouth lollipop rot your teeth out

  now decked out in silver

 green grass by the river in summer

green canoe what else can you do

 but wait for the tide

  to come up clear blue-grey

    and the fish were thrashing in the water

      so it looked like rapids

        white fish, orange fleshed

          salmon river salmon

              hot pink pixee lure

                   the sky was on fire in the evening

                         winter white fox fur trimmed

                                 purple sealskin mitts


purple, purple, more purple

yellow rope, blue bungee

black and blue skidoo

brown spit on the snow in the playground

blue stripe on the 211 take you downtown in montreal

ottawa red and white oc transpo

make sure you pay though

green and gold edmonton we don’t say that word anymore

deep crimson seal quaq on the cardboard

mattak mattak mattak

you would have saved some but it was all thawed


Katherine TakpannieALL © THE ARTIST
Aupajaaqtuq #2 (detail) (2020)
Tungujuangajuq (2017) 
Tungujuqtuq (2020)
Ittiujaq (2017)
Aupaqtuq #3 (2020)

the smell of red is

the taste of green is

the texture of purple is

the sound of turquoise is

the temperature of pink is

Katherine Takpannie is an urban Inuk whose family is originally from Apex Hill, NU. However she was born in Montreal, QC. Takpannie is a self-taught, emerging photographer who wants to reveal the complexities and nuances of urban Inuit life. Having lived most of her life in Ottawa, ON, her work speaks to the Ottawa that she sees. Her visual language expands out from lifestyle portraiture to include lush landscapes and gritty urban scenes.

Taqralik Partridge is a writer, artist and curator originally from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, QC, and now based in Ottawa, ON. Partridge's artistic work focuses on and celebrates life in the North and in southern urban centres, as well as the lived experiences of Inuit. In 2020 her collection of poetry curved against the hull of a peterhead was released by Publication Studio Guelph. A former Editor-at-Large for the Inuit Art Quarterly and former Director of the Nordic Lab at SAW, she is the Associate Curator of Indigenous Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

This series was made possible with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.