With 2019 marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Kinngait Studios and the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative (WBEC) in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, a special print collection was released on July 15, 2019 in celebration. This unique release features two new works by Ningiukulu Teevee and Ooloosie Saila as well as a historic, previously unreleased piece by Pitaloosie Saila, RCA.
“This release is comprised of one stonecut, one lithograph and one etching, representing the three primary print techniques used at Kinngait Studios,” Dorset Fine Arts, the marketing arm of the WBEC, explains “and acknowledging the accomplishments of the artists and printers over the past sixty years.”
Printed by Studio PM, the etched, aquatinted and hand coloured Glittering Walrus (2019) by Teevee features two walruses in rich blues and soft reds and browns as they face each other, tusks raised with glittering rings around their necks. The print will be released as a limited edition of 50. A run of 30 of Ooloosie Saila’s Silaksiaq (Beautiful Day) (2019) is also included as part of the release. Depicting a landscape teeming with life and colour against a backdrop of a blue sky, Silaksiaq (Beautiful Day) was printed by Niveaksie Quvianaqtuliaq, the studios’ only full time lithographer.
Rounding out the release is 25 editions of Pitaloosie Saila’s Tattooed Sun, originally conceived in 1988. Printed by Qavavau Manumie and Iyola Kingwatsiak, her stonecut print captures the bright red and orange face of the sun as a feminine figure—her forehead, cheeks and chin decorated with tunniit, markings or tattoos traditionally worn by women.
This edition of works follows a Spring release of a never-before-seen archival folio from Kananginak Pootoogook (1935–2010). Titled Birds of Baffin, the six stonecut works issued as a limited run of 50 were all produced between 1984 and 2001, and have been selected as “outstanding examples of Kananginak’s tremendous talent and his admiration for Arctic Wildlife,” according to DFA.
This special release among the many other celebratory projects surrounding the 60th anniversary, including the release of the 2019 annual print collection later this fall, two publications with Pomegranate Communications, the launch of a micro site, commemorative logo, travelling exhibitions, panel discussions and more.