Photo Credit: Pierre Aupilardjuk and Shary Boyle, Facing Forward, 2016. Photo by Shary Boyle
Roger Aksadjuak, Shuvinai Ashoona, Pierre Aupilardjuk, Shary Boyle, Jessie Kenalogak, John Kurok, Leo Napayok
Organized by Shary Boyle at the invitation of Esker Foundation
We are of the earth and from the stars, cooked mud and pigmented wax, soot and soda, ink, wood, tobacco, fur, fire, bronze, and acrylic nails – mortal inhabitants of the earth dreaming of our spiritual or extraterrestrial foil. Drawn from this framework of earthly conditions, the visionary ceramics and works on paper of Earthlings, produced both individually and collaboratively by seven contemporary artists, are at once transformative and otherworldly – and profoundly human.
Though making work from distinct cultural and geographical positions – from Kangiqliniq/Rankin Inlet, Kinngait/Cape Dorset, Qamani’tuaq/Baker Lake, and Toronto – the artists in Earthlings share an intuitive and labour-intensive approach to materials and narrative imagery. In these works, detailed figures are subject to transformations and transmogrifications, hybrid blendings of animal and human, reality and myth, and actual and imagined spaces. These pieces seem to emerge from phantasmagorical worlds, simultaneously fleshly and physical, sensual and spiritual, alien and familiar.
The artsists would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, Dorset Fine Arts, Feheley Fine Arts, Inuit Art Foundation, Matchbox Gallery, Medalta, Nunavut Development Corporation, Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association, Jim and Sue Shirley, and Marnie and Karen Schreiber.