Inez Shi­wak

Inuit Art Quarterly - - COLLECTING GUIDE - b. 1977 Rigo­let, NL – Heather Iglo­liorte

De­pend­ing on which cir­cles you run in, you may know Inez Shi­wak as a video artist and pro­ducer, a seam­stress, a re­searcher, or a cul­tural leader and ac­tivist. Inez ex­cels at all of these roles in her com­mu­nity of Rigo­let, Nu­natsi­avut, where she prac­tices sewing, bead­work and other art forms and co­or­di­nates the “My Word”: Sto­ry­telling and Dig­i­tal Me­dia Lab, among her many other tal­ents and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. As an Arc­tic re­searcher, she seeks to bet­ter un­der­stand the im­pacts of chang­ing cli­mate, health and lan­guage through sci­en­tific re­search and par­tic­i­pa­tory dig­i­tal me­dia. She was re­cently hon­oured for this work by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami when she was pre­sented with the Inuit Recog­ni­tion Award dur­ing the 2016 Arc­ticNet [An­nual Sci­en­tific Meet­ing]. As an artist, she has also re­cently been rec­og­nized by the Nu­natsi­avut Gov­ern­ment with the ac­qui­si­tion of two ma­jor seal­skin mul­ti­me­dia works for their per­ma­nent col­lec­tion. Inez learned to sew, make bas­kets and con­tinue other Inuit prac­tices from her mother, Jane Shi­wak, who passed on the skills and knowl­edge from her own mother and grand­mother. To­day, Shi­wak uses seal­skin to pro­duce ev­ery­thing from com­plex, large-scale wall hang­ings to pe­tite works of wear­able art. In the na­tion­ally tour­ing ex­hi­bi­tion SakKi­jâjuk: Art and Craft from Nu­natsi­avut, Shi­wak has two pieces that rep­re­sent the breadth of her prac­tice, in­clud­ing the sin­gle-chan­nel video work Where Have the Voices Gone? (2016) and a pair of beaded moose­hide and beaver fur kamek (boots) she made with her mother.

Inez Shi­wak My Great Grand­par­ent’s Cabin 2015 Seal­skin and wood 152.4 × 91.4 cm PHOTO AIMEE CHALK

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