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2003 Pangnirtung Community Print Collection

 

 THIRTY YEARS OF PRINTMAKING

Introduction by Judith Leidl, Arts Advisor

 

 

Judith Leidl with Annie Kilabuk in the Pangnirtung Print Shop, April 2002

 

In creating and producing this, the 2003 Pangnirtung Community Print Collection, the printmakers have chosen a wide variety of techniques to give expression to their unique view of the world. Here we will find examples of pochoir (stencil), relief (lino-cut), and intaglio (aquatint, soft-ground and dry point etching), with further technical refinements that include à la poupée (printing more than one color from one plate), chine collé (a combination of collage and printing), and relief printing with stencil and brushwork.
 
The enthusiasm demonstrated by the Pangnirtung printmakers for developing their knowledge and skills has made the print shop a particularly exciting place to be during the creation of this 30th anniversary collection. Some, such as Annie Kilabuk, Geela Sowdluapik, Leetia Alivaktuk, Abigail Ootoova and Jolly Atagooyuk, have recently discovered and embraced a new material called Safety-kut, from which they can readily carve out relief images, with less need for the excessive amounts of elbow-grease required when working with linoleum, wood and stone. Annie Kilabuk’s “Joy of the Drum Dance” is a superb example of the kind of detail and graphic vibrancy that can be realized with skillful use of this new material.
 
The exploration of a variety of papers has intensified this year, as the printmakers are now using a variety of exotic Japanese papers for their relief work – papers with exotic-sounding names, like Kozuke White and Natural, Dai-inshu Chiri, Kitikata and Obanai Feather Sand. For the stencil prints, Arches Natural 100% rag paper continues to be the printmakers’ first choice because of its strength and archival quality. With careful handling and presentation, the pleasure derived from viewing these works on paper can be preserved through many generations.
 
This is now my third stint as arts advisor here in Pangnirtung. Each experience has been different from the previous. The result has been an overall strengthening of my connection to the Uqqurmiut and the community, on both professional and personal levels. This year my oldest child, Isobel, enrolled in the local elementary school, creating a new facet to our experience in Pangnirtung. Even as my daughter was warmly welcomed into the school community here, my five-year-old son, Orion, was well cared for at the local preschool and will miss his new friends. These cross-cultural encounters will always be a positive part of my family’s life experience.
 
As I contemplate the rich and varied graphic work presented in this 30th anniversary print collection, I feel that it is, indeed, a celebration of printmaking in Pangnirtung over the last three decades. The collection can also be regarded as homage to the wise and welcoming visual expression that is an important part of this Arctic community. The images themselves allow us as viewers to enter into another world – yet; perhaps this world is not so different from elsewhere. The universal concepts of survival, regard for nature, family, myth, dreams are all visually presented here, to be shared by the Pangnirtung printmakers with us, in a marvelous celebration of our differences, our similarities and our universal human experience.

Judith J. Leidl, MFA
Faculty, Art Department
Acadia University
Wolfville, Nova Scotia
May 2003

 

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This page was last updated on Monday February 21, 2005