North­ern High­lights: In the Field: Nu­navik Artist Res­i­dency

Inuit Art Quarterly - - CONTENTS - Mat­tiusi Iyaituk

Re­cently three Nu­nav­im­miut artists trav­elled to France to learn and to share their work.

Over Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary, I trav­elled to France along­side two other Nu­nav­im­miut artists, my wife Qu­maq Mangiuk from Ivu­jivik, and Nancy Saun­ders from Ku­u­jjuaq and Mon­treal to par­tic­i­pate in an artis­tic res­i­dency thanks to an agree­ment be­tween the École na­tionale supérieure des beaux-arts de Paris, the Con­seil des arts et des let­tres du Québec and the Con­sulat général de France à Québec. Our ex­change was also sup­ported by the Délé­ga­tion générale du Québec à Paris and Avataq Cul­tural In­sti­tute.

Dur­ing our stay in Paris, we par­tic­i­pated in a con­fer­ence or­ga­nized by the École that al­lowed us to in­tro­duce our art to an au­di­ence of al­most 100 guests and vis­ited lo­cal mu­se­ums, in­clud­ing the Lou­vre. I never thought I would see the fa­mous Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci, and I am happy to have a pic­ture with it. I also saw two Michelange­lo sculp­tures, and I ob­served that Ro­man and Greek sculp­tures were not al­ways made from a sin­gle piece of stone. Art was every­where! Even in the mar­ble floors—the vari­a­tions and colours are amaz­ing.

In the Saint-Ouen beaux-arts stu­dios, lo­cated in a Parisian sub­urb, I worked with clay for the first time and cre­ated a cup with a seal in relief on it. I also made a wax sculp­ture to be cast in bronze in the shape of a har­poon head that my father gave me. My father made two iden­ti­cal har­poons, one for my brother and one for me. I don’t use it for fear of los­ing it while I am hunt­ing. I also com­pleted two stone sculp­tures Iqalu­ul­lamiluuq of Ivu­jivik Vis­it­ing and Self Por­trait Car­ry­ing Heavy Loads of Life, Yet I Am Still Here. The first is made from a pink alabaster stone. Af­ter choos­ing it, I dis­cov­ered it had many fine cracks, so I put wax on it like they do in Inu­jjuak (Inukjuak), which made the stone’s colour re­sem­ble fish meat; Iqalu­ul­lamiluuq is a half-fish, half-hu­man be­ing. The sec­ond sculp­ture, a self-por­trait, rep­re­sents the heavy part of life that passes by every per­son.

I had to cut away part of my sculp­ture to bal­ance it, which made it look like it was try­ing to carry some­thing heavy. This is what gave me the ti­tle.

The art­works pro­duced by our group dur­ing this res­i­dency were ex­hib­ited from Fe­bru­ary 7–8 as part of De l’art inuit aux beaux-arts de Paris.

Photo Louis Gagnon

Mat­tiusi Iyaituk at work on a clay cup at Saint-Ouen beaux-arts stu­dios, Jan­uary 2016

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