“When I start to draw I remember things that I have experienced or seen. Although I
do not attempt to recreate these images exactly, that is what might happen. Sometimes
they come out more realistically but sometimes they turn out completely different. That
is what happens when I draw.”
Quote from Ghost Noise, produced and directed by Marcia Connolly.
Shuvinai was born in Cape Dorset in August, 1961. She is the
daughter of Kiuga Ashoona and Sorosilutu, both well known for their
contributions to the arts in Cape Dorset.
Shuvinai began drawing in 1995. She works with pen and ink,
coloured pencils and markers and her sensibility for the landscape
around the community of Cape Dorset is particularly impressive.
Her recent work is very personal and often meticulously detailed.
Shuvinai’s work was first included in the Cape Dorset annual
print collection in 1997, with two small dry-point etchings entitled
Interior (1997-33) and Settlement (1997-34). Since then, she has
become a committed and prolific graphic artist, working daily in the
Shuvinai’s work has attracted the attention of several notable private
galleries, as well as public institutions. She was featured along with
her aunt, Napachie Pootoogook, and her grandmother, the late
Pitseolak Ashoona, in the McMichael Canadian Collection’s 1999
exhibition entitled Three Women, Three Generations. More recently
she was profiled, along with Qavavau Manumie of Cape Dorset and
Nick Sikkuark of Gjoa Haven, in the Spring 2008 issue of Border Crossings, a Winnipeg-based arts magazine.
In an unusual contemporary collaboration, Shuvinai worked with
Saskatchewan-based artist, John Noestheden, on a “sky-mural” that
was exhibited at the 2008 Basel Art Fair and was shown again at
Toronto’s 2008 Nuit Blanche. In 2009, her work was presented
alongside Toronto-based artist Shary Boyle at the Justin Bernicke
Gallery at Hart House. Shuvinai is also the subject of the
documentary art film, Ghost Noise, produced and directed by
Shuvinai is slowly gaining more international attention and in 2013 she was included in the prestigious Phaidon publication, “Vitamin D2, New Perspectives in Drawing.”
Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection, 2012. Artist photo: William Ritchie.