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Experimental Prints from Baker Lake

Marion Scott Gallery
Vancouver BC Nov 20-Dec 12, 2004

Sandy Iksiraq - Spring Fun
Sandy Iksiraq, Spring Fun (1996), reductive woodcut [Marion Scott Gallery, Vancouver BC, Nov 20-Dec 12]

Timed to coincide with the grand opening of the Marion Scott Gallery’s new location in Gastown, Experimental Prints from Baker Lake features work of surprising stylistic range.

The small, northern hamlet of Baker Lake or Qamani’tuaq, Nunavut, is close to the geographic centre of Canada. During the 1950s and 1960s, increasing numbers of Inuit settled in the community. Today Baker Lake has a population of 1,500 people and is part of the newly formed Nunavut Territory.

Many of the works in this exhibit are being shown in the South for the first time. In addition, the artists personally created the prints from start to finish. Customarily, the artists designed the imagery and relied on specialized Inuit printers to complete them. The artworks demonstrate a variety of techniques, including chine collé, woodcut printing and etching. Veteran two-dimensional artists such as Janet Kigusiuq and Victoria Mamnguqsualak express their familiar imagery of shamans and Inuit legends in ways that are often startling. Artists new to drawing and printmaking such as Nancy Sevoga and Tony Anguhadluq (grandson of legendary artist Luke Anguhadluq) have emerged as highly unique creators of more idiosyncratic imagery. The spirit of the work in this exhibition is colourful and optimistic.

Mia Johnson

 Tue, Nov 2, 2004