Johnny Kataluk (1937-) lives in Coral Harbour (Salliq), on Southampton Island to the northwest of the Hudson Bay, and which is a small, relatively unknown, and certainly less marketed community. In 1902, the original Sallirmiut population died from disease brought by European whalers. Since that time, Coral Harbour has become populated by a blend of many Inuit peoples who have migrated from Baffin Island, Arctic Quebec, and the mainland Keewatin areas. Kataluk reflects this trend as he also moved to Coral Harbour from Arctic Quebec as a child.
Johnny Kataluk has been quietly carving for over thirty years — with little recognition outside of his own community. Generally he works in the local gray, often striated, soapstone when it is available, but supplements this with the rusty red limestone from a newly worked nearby quarry. [This exhibition coincided with an exhibition of artwork by Joe Eqilaq.] Despite the differences in age and locale, both artists have evolved their own very contemporary styles, which, are in many respects, quite similar in intent. One could say that the nuance of their minimalist carving styles is quite modern — but both are very much rooted in tradition. This is evident in their powerful representations of life on the land, the shamans in transformation, and their wonderful portrayals of the Sedna.
March 14 - April 4, 2015
'Keewatin Women in Stone' celebrates the lives of two very different Nunavut artists from the Keewatin region north-west of the Hudsons Bay. Camille Iquilq (1963-2005) and Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok (1934-2012) are representative of two generations and very different upbringings. Lucy was born on the land and experienced the nomadic and traditional way of life before settling in Arviat, whereas Camille was born and raised within the relative comfort of the community of Baker Lake. The collection is a selection of at least 30 stone sculptures from each artist, with pieces ranging from the early 1990s forward. The exhibition contrasts their individual styles yet highlights the same shared values with relationships and the strong bonds within the family.
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