The Festive North focused on celebration, showcasing images of traditional and contemporary Inuit games, drum dancing, throat singing, community gatherings and feasts, quite simply all things celebratory in Inuit Art. Traditionally, the great gatherings and celebrations centred on sharing and one of the most important things shared were the games. Games played an important role in the traditional semi-nomadic lifestyle; ensuring survival they helped to improve strength, dexterity, endurance and pain resistance. Out of necessity they required very little equipment, and provided skills and training for adults and children alike. Popular games included, amongst others, the mouth pull, musk-ox fight, bow and arrow shoot, Nuglutang (a hoop-and-pole game), the blanket toss, juggling, and football. This tradition continues today as Inuit from different communities celebrate their culture through the Arctic Winter Games. This installation of twenty selected drawings explored each artist’s personal iconography, and was a family affair: a husband and wife, a mother and daughter. Featured were new drawings by husband and wife Luke Anowtalik and Mary Ayaq Anowtalik, as well as work by two other senior artists from Aqviat: Marc Alikaswa and Jacob Irkok. The Festive North included an early collage by Jessie Oonark plus several recent collages by her daughter Janet Kigusiuq of Qamanittuaq (Baker Lake).
Curated by Karen Williamson