Spirit Wrestler Gallery is very pleased to announce the special release of the Arctic Ravens Pendleton blanket. The release is timed to commemorate the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection (1959-2009), with the image drawn by the legendary Canadian Inuit artist, Kenojuak Ashevak of Cape Dorset.
Kenojuak is today considered to be a national living treasure and has received every award and honour that can be bestowed on a Canadian artist. She has participated in almost every Cape Dorset Annual print collection since 1959. Now eighty-two years old, she has retired from active drawing, but her legacy as the most celebrated Inuit artist continues to grow, particularly in consideration of her contribution to the entire history of the Cape Dorset print collection. Her art is to be found in major museums, corporations, and private collections internationally. Her 1960 print, the Enchanted Owl, is considered an icon of Canadian art, and was selected as a postage stamp for Canada. It also holds the record for the highest value paid for any Canadian limited edition print. Numerous other images over her long career continue to be among the most sought-after Inuit prints.
In 2002, Kenojuak was invited to design the first Inuit blanket for Pendleton. Entitled Arctic Owl, it was released as part of her solo exhibition at the Spirit Wrestler Gallery and was extraordinarily well-received. For the 50th Anniversary, it seemed fitting that both Kenojuak and the community of Cape Dorset be honoured today with this great second project.
Arctic Ravens is an original Kenojuak Ashevak Pendleton limited edition blanket, produced with the consent and approval of the artist and the West Baffin Co-operative. The design came from a merging of two of her original drawings from her solo exhibition at the Spirit Wrestler Gallery in 2002. The drawing, Mirror Image, provided the central raven images, and the Loomed Birds drawing was used for the border, which she had designed specifically for the first blanket project. The colours selected are both faithful to the original drawings and are also her personal favourites from her diverse palette.
The Pendleton Woolen Mills has been producing First Nations designed blankets since 1912. This blanket is the fourth collaboration between Northwest Pendleton and the Spirit Wrestler Gallery and it has been a pleasure to work with this great company. We are all honoured to have the opportunity to participate in the celebration of this historic anniversary for Cape Dorset with this extraordinary blanket.