Pangnirtung Tapestry Studios has been Commissioned by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami to Provide a tapestry for the 2010 Winter Games. The Uqqurmiut Centre has created a large tapestry inspired by four artworks selected through an adjudication process to represent each Inuit region. It will find a permanent home at the Richmond Olympic Oval through the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and leave a lasting legacy.
The images portrayed include the work of Inuit artists from Labrador to Inuvialuit. The ten foot wide by six foot high tapestry depicts a late winter scene of Olympic athletes, Inuit playing traditional games and a Inukshuk silhouetted against a northern landscape of meandering fiords bordered by snow topped hills. The lively colourful design by well known Pangnirtung graphic and print artist Andrew Qappik, includes images by Dinah Anderson of Labrador, Sammy J. Kudluk of Kuujjuaq Nunavik, Mabel Nigiyok and Louie Nigiyok of Uluhaktok and Andrew Qappik.
The Pangnirtung weavers have long anticipated this opportunity to shine in a project of Olympic quality.
The first step is to dress the loom with sturdy cotton warp threads.
The design is placed behind the loom and is transferred to the warp threads with indelible markers.
Master tapestry weaver David Cochrane was invited to Pangnirtung for a six week period to join the weaving team of Kawtysie Kakee, Anna Etuangat, Kathy Battye and Olassie Akulukjuk. The sharing of weaving practices in every aspect has enhanced the project. The Pangnirtung Studio is now one of only a small handful world-wide which employs tapestry weavers to interpret the work of contemporary artists. Another such Studio is the Dovecot in Edinborough Scotland where David works.
The tapestry underway with the pattern clearly visible behind the loom.
'Achieving a Dream' took approximately 2,030 hours to weave. Team weaving requires great co-operative and collaborative skills between the weavers. The Pangnirtung weavers excel at it and are looking forward to more commissions.
Other Tapestry Commissions
The tapestry weavers of the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Crafts have been weaving limited edition tapestries for close to four decades. More recently the Studio has been creating unique mural tapestries designed for specific architectural spaces.
These are woven on our twelve foot wide ‘high beam’ tapestry loom. The weavers sit side by side, up to seven across, depending on the width of the tapestry.
Each tapestry is based on an original design commissioned from an artist.
The original design is enlarged to the size of the finished tapestry on a paper cartoon which is placed behind the vertical ‘warp threads’.
Weaving a large tapestry can take up to a year depending on the size. Many hands are employed at all stages of creation.
The rolling of the large finished tapestry off of the loom is a community event.
Each large commissioned tapestry is ‘unveiled’ at a community ceremony. Commissioned Pangnirtung tapestries grace the walls and spaces of buildings in Nunavut.