From the Editor
Almost five decades ago, William E. Taylor Jr., Director of the then National Museum of Man (now the Canadian Museum of History) stated that “Canadian [Inuit] art, now and over the past 20 years, constitutes a stunning contribution to Canada’s common wealth [and] to the nation’s heritage. Although [Inuit] art is widely known, it is by no means fully appreciated in Canada—some know its price but few know its value. Over the next 10, 20, 50 years we will begin to hold in awe this aesthetic, arctic explosion.”1
This issue of the Inuit Art Quarterly is the first of the sesquicentennial year—Canada 150—so-named to mark a century and a half of nationalist history. However, the degree to which these celebrations will be welcomed by the broader Indigenous community within these borders remains to be seen. What is clear, as Taylor noted decades ago, is the irrefutable impact the artists featured in our publication have had in shaping the nation’s idea of itself.
With this deep and lasting legacy at the forefront, we open the 30th year of the IAQ with a look at perhaps the single most influential material of the modern Inuit art movement: stone.
The features in this issue span 60 years of sculptural practices, from the distinctive, communal aesthetic of three decades of Arviat artists, including John Pangnark, Andy Miki and Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok, to the witty wordplay of Kinngait’s Jamasee Pitseolak.2 Iglulik’s Bart Hanna is interviewed by IAF Executive Director Alysa Procida on his monumental Migration (2013), a stunning tribute to the histories of movement. Through each of these artists’ works, the disruptive forces of colonialism are made tangible.
Elsewhere, we explore the processes that bring stone to the surface. In our Portfolio “From Quarry to Co-op”, we visually trace how carvings are made, and in Comment Nunatsiavummiut artist Jason Jacque discusses the challenges he faces in accessing materials.
As we prepare for our anniversary issue this fall, we look forward to continuing these examinations of the central role of Inuit art to the idea of what Canada is and can be.
Turn to page 40 to read about Bart Hanna’s epic sculpture Migration (2013).