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2005 Pangnirtung Community Print Collection

Introduction by Judith Leidl, Arts Advisor

 

 

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

 

Life in the Arctic is all about meeting challenges. Extreme climate and weather make great demands. This year’s Pangnirtung Community Print Collection was tested right from the start by a combination blizzard and power failure that delayed my arrival in Pangnirtung to work with the printmakers as their arts advisor. Even after I managed to fly in (myself fighting off a bout of flu, two children in tow, also battling colds), continued periods of high winds and blowing snow prevented planes from landing or taking off for days at a time. Consequently, some of the needed art supplies also arrived late. However, despite these trials set by Mother Nature, the printmakers always seemed able to maintain their highly positive attitude, moving forward in their quiet, steady and creative way, getting the job done, and, most importantly, producing works of art that speak to us about the Inuit world via a unique method of visual storytelling.

Increasingly, the Pangnirtung printmakers have extended their range in their use of colour. This year’s collection is a lively one, in which colour is used strongly to augment technique. In “Bird People’s Promenade,” for example, master printmaker Josea Maniapik has chosen a warm, vibrant colour palette for his stencil interpretation of Annie Kilabuk’s playful and surreal drawing. Jolly Atagooyuk captures the full and subtle range of colours from the endless Arctic sunset in his stencil print, “Across the Land at Sunset,” based on the drawing by Joel Maniapik. Leetia Alivaktuk’s unusual colour combination in “Surprised on the Ice” complements the strong graphic components in this print based on a drawing by Andrew Qappik. Andrew himself remains true to the soft blues, greens and browns of the Arctic landscape that Pangnirtung stencil prints have come to be known for, as exemplified in “Sensing to Perceive” and “Luminous Char.” Abigail Ootoova also follows this tradition in her beautiful stencil print, “Summer of the Long-Tailed Jaeger.”

One of the main purposes of visual art, in general, is to communicate what cannot be communicated through words alone. The most successful visual art reveals to the viewer an idea, a story, an emotion (or several emotions at once), a situation, or some combination of these. Over a period of more than thirty years, the Pangnirtung printmakers and artists have successfully communicated with the world through their visual art, enlightening us about Inuit traditions, myths, legends, stories and aspects of their daily existence. All these things come vibrantly alive in the images presented in this, the 2005 Pangnirtung Community Print Collection.

Judith J. Leidl, MFA
Faculty, Art Department
Acadia University
Wolfville, Nova Scotia
April 2005

 

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This page was last updated on Saturday April 28, 2007