Sorroseeleetu Ashoona

Sorroseeleetu Ashoona was a graphic artist from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. Ashoona began drawing in 1962 with her first print published in the 1965 Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection, titled Woman Juggling (1965) [1]. Ashoona produced most of her work between 1970-1980 contributing over 35 prints to the Kinngait Print Collection.

Ashoona explored a variety of illustrative mediums throughout her artistic career. Her earliest drawings were composed using graphite in favour of wax crayons or coloured pencil. In 1976 Ashoona was introduced to acrylic and watercolour paints and continued to experiment with paints into the late 1970s [2]. In 1979 she participated in an etching and engraving workshop held in Kinngait the influence of which can be seen in the precise linework of her later compositions [3]. Stolen Amautik (1980) showcases bold, flowing outlines evocative of calligraphic techniques. The lines vary in width and refinement, from the thick trim of the amautik to the narrow tips of the figure’s flippers. Many of Ashoona’s artistic subjects could be mischievous, subverting conventional cultural roles and behaviours. Several of her works feature non-human beings proudly modelling or scrambling into Inuit clothing, possibly recently pilfered. At times the clothing itself is given agency, entire outfits becoming animate and undertaking the tasks of their wearers. Many of Ashoona’s works centred on the narratives of women in positions of spiritual mediation, peril, at play or in the midst of work.

In 1974 Ashoona was commissioned by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) to create a series of illustrations depicting the process for creating a parka. These prints were included in the exhibition Inuit Women in Transition (1975-1976) held at the Indigenous Art Collection at INAC in Gatineau, QC. She was commissioned again to create drawings for the following exhibition Inuit Pinguangit/Inuit Games (1975-1977) in conjunction with the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, QC. Her works can be found in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON and among other artistic institutions.

About Sorroseeleetu Ashoona

Medium:

Drawing, Printmaking

Artistic Community:

Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU

Date of Birth:

Artists may have multiple birth years listed as a result of when and where they were born. For example, an artist born in the early twentieth century in a camp outside of a community centre may not know/have known their exact date of birth and identified different years.

Nanuqtuuq camp
16 March 1941

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March 14, 2018 Created by: Rebecca Gray