The name “Spirit Wrestler”, more universally known as a shaman, originates from the book title by the late James Houston. The namesake exhibition explores themes of shamanism and transformation, as well as interpretations of Arctic legends and the many guises of Sedna (Sea Goddess). The collection consists of over 100 original inspired sculptures offering a contemporary glimpse into an ancient world of beliefs that is fast disappearing. The Inuit artists are working in varied materials and represent many communities across the Arctic, from Alaska in the west to Labrador in the east.
Sadly, we have lost many of the great old carvers over the last decade; several are in this exhibition, including Judas Ullulaq, Josiah Nuilaalik, Elijah Michael, Nuyaliaq Qirmirpik and Peter Sevoga. Their sculptures serve as a stark reminder of the enormous vacuum they leave behind. A few of the older artists, Samson Kingalik, Joe Kiloonik and Barnabus Arnasungnaaq, still remember the traditional life on the land, carving occasionally to reveal intimate insights into the past. Now the responsibility rests on the younger artists like Isacci Etidloie, Billy Gauthier, Toonoo Sharky and Michael Massie, letting their imaginations create sculptures, which offer modern yet relevant interpretations of their history.
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.
Spirit Wrestler Gallery
47 Water Street
Canada V6B 1A1
Toll Free: 1-888-669-8813
3 blocks from Waterfront Station
Between Abbott St. and Carrall St.
Monday to Saturday, open 10-6
Sunday and Holidays, open 12-5
© 2015 Spirit Wrestler Gallery. All Rights Reserved.