Cape Dorset’s 2013 print collection goes on sale Oct. 18
“You’re not only celebrating the work of an individual artist, but of a culture at large”
Inuit art buffs rejoice — the 2013 Cape Dorset annual print collection will feature “limited edition” prints by the late Kenojuak Ashevak and 10 other artists, on sale at the Canadian Guild of Crafts Oct. 18 in Montreal, Oct. 19 at the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit and in other galleries across Canada.
The 2013 collection includes works by new Cape Dorset artists as well as by Inuit elders, and combines traditional and contemporary themes, said the Inuit art specialist at the Canadian Guild and Crafts, Diana Perera.
“There’s a little bit of the past in terms of plants and animals, living life on the land, images taken from myths and legends and spirits. And also some things such as clothing and buttons and things that have made their way into Inuit life,” Perera said.
The collection has three themes: one being a homage to the late Kenojuak Ashevak.
Ashevak has seven prints this collection, featuring birds, and one wolf.
Ashevak’s etching and aquatint print, called “Long Necked Goose” is the priciest of the collection, at $1,800.
“Kenojuak loved birds. She loved the pattern, the brilliance. The history and all through the years you see so much of these radiant, ravishing creatures in her work,” Perera said, adding that Ashevak signed two of the prints, and her daughter signed the rest posthumously.
Ashevak’s passing is a celebration of culture, Perera said.
“Out of all the arts of the North, it is the visual arts that have contributed so dramatically to the preservation of Inuit material culture. So you’re not only celebrating the work of an individual artist, but of a culture at large,” Perera said.
“Many of the elders are sadly passing away and the legacies of what they are leaving [have made] huge contributions to Canadian art,” Perera said.
The second theme: up-and-coming artists from Dorset.
“We’re showing young emerging contemporary artists out of Dorset, because as the elders pass away, you have a new body of artists coming up,” Perera said.
One of these new emerging artists is Saimaiyu Akesuk — at 27 the youngest artist in the collection — who is paying tribute to her grandfather, the sculpture Latcholassie Akesuk, said Perera.
Akesuk’s print called “Latchaolassie’s Birds” is a stone cut lithograph featuring one green bird with several other birds within its body. The print is priced at $450.
Another up-and-comer is Siassie Kenneally, who has a print called “Tuniqtaviniit,” which features a pair of hands holding an ulu and a bone needle case, priced at $500.
“You think of a bone needle case with sinew, [and then] you fast forward to the prints by Nicotye Samayualie,” which features more southern objects like buttons, Perera said.
“You see changes from past to present,” Perera said.
The last theme of the collection is “homage to printmakers”
“In focusing on the print makers, we’re looking at the older print making methods that reveal themselves in the sixties like stone cut and stencil and lithography,” she said.
This collection contains32 images by 11 artists made at the Kinngait Studios in Cape Dorset.
Each image is printed 50 times, and will be offered for sale in Montreal Oct. 18. There is a preview of the prints Oct. 16 and 17, and an exhibit until Nov. 2
Buyers not in Montreal are asked to contact the Guild prior to the sale.
The Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum in Iqaluit will also hold two prints of each image for sale, starting Oct. 19. The prints are on exhibit until Dec. 2 in Iqaluit.