The 2002 Pangnirtung Community Print Collection is dedicated to the memory of Ida Karpik, well-known Pangnirtung artist and regular participant in the annual print collection. Ida died in April of this year as a result of complications from heart surgery. She was only sixty-three. A self-taught artist, Ida loved to draw as a child, but it was not until 1974 that she began to sketch seriously.
She was very productive over a period of twenty-eight years, completing hundreds of original drawings on paper. All of Ida's works depict different aspects of Inuit life, lore and tradition, and her images often feature birds and other animals as subject matter.
Over the past ten years, twenty-four of Ida Karpik's works have been used for prints that have been included in annual Pangnirtung print collections, and twelve of her drawings have been used for tapestries produced by the weavers who work in the Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio. Last year's Pangnirtung print collection, released in June 2001, featured nine prints based on Ida's original drawings. This year's collection, reproduced here, features four of her works, all in progress at the time of her death. Ida's sister, Geela Sowdluapik, printed two of these works. All four prints have been signed by Geela on Ida's behalf. In keeping with the long-standing practice of retiring deceased artists' imagery from further use in new collections, the prints reproduced here will mark the last time that Ida Karpik's work will be used.
This fresh, new collection of Pangnirtung prints, comprised of thirty-one images in all, represents the combined efforts of thirteen artists and ten printmakers. The prints demonstrate a wide range of imagery and techniques, including twenty-one stencils (pochoir), seven relief prints, two etchings (intaglio), and several prints that combine different techniques. Last year's group of printmakers have returned in full force, and they are joined this year by two new participants. Making her debut with the Pangnirtung print collection is Abigail Ootoova, who received training through Nunavut Arctic College, along with veteran printmaker Jolly Atagooyuk. Abigail has contributed two relief prints to this year's collection. Also making his debut as a printmaker this year is long-time print shop manager Tommy Angnagak. Tommy has contributed a beautifully executed stencil print. This year's collection will also feature a young, new original artist in the person of Samantha Qappik, fifteen-year-old daughter of renowned Andrew Qappik. Andrew has interpreted his daughter's original drawing as a stencil print.
Continual growth and development remains a priority of the Pangnirtung print collection, as evidenced by the emergence of new talent and new techniques. The role of arts advisor, performed again this year by master printmaker Judith Leidl from Wolfville, Nova Scotia, is warmly acknowledged and greatly appreciated. Judith's skill development workshops at the local high school and within the print shop itself have provided the opportunity to receive training and inspiration both for veterans and potential new recruits. We are grateful for repeated funding support made available by Kakivak Association, which has helped to bring about such training opportunities. Ultimately this kind of assistance has proved successful in allowing already seasoned printmakers to further hone their skills, and also in inspiring talented young newcomers to participate in this wonderful art form practiced by the Inuit of Pangnirtung, Baffin Island.
Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts
Contact Peter Wilson