All the Things That I Have Seen: An In­ter­view with Si­assie Ken­neally

Si­assie Ken­neally: Ta­main­nik Ta­maku­niga Takusi­ma­jan­nik Tak­van­gat Inu­u­ni­ganit 2016-mut

Inuit Art Quarterly - - CONTENTS - by Pa­tri­cia Fe­he­ley

This Kin­ngait-based graphic artist is best known for her dense il­lus­tra­tions, steeped in per­sonal his­to­ries and ren­dered from mem­ory. This in­ter­view, con­ducted ear­lier this year and pre­sented in English and Inuk­tut, fo­cuses on a sin­gle, ex­cep­tional work that in­ti­mately doc­u­ments a life lived, in all its strik­ing de­tail.

Taap­ku­ti­tu­u­ratik il­luku­luk­mi­ti­tut An­nie Pootoo­gook (1969–2016) amma Shuvinai Ashoona, aulu­ti­janga taap­suma Si­assie Ken­neally titi­rau­jaq­tan­git piqutilir­iliqtilugit piusi­tuqaqnik, tamainik Inuk­ti­tut am­malu maanauliq­tuq. Ta­maqmik taap­kua Takusi­ma­jakka (2016) titi­rau­jaqnikunga im­mini­ilauqtilugu iqniga. Una uuma­ti­mini­gaaq­tuq. Atuni tatasi­ma­jut mik­i­juu­tinik kisun­guanik una im­minik taku­ti­tisi­ma­juq in­u­usiqminik, tak­van­gat ilagiit paipaaqutigit taap­nalu John Len­non ijautigit am­malu kaki­vat taap­kualu nunaqjuaqmi. – Pa­tri­cia Fe­he­ley

Ovanga takva qi­ayuq qi­a­jutigi­jara iqnira ik­mini­iq­mat, tigu­miaq&ugu nunaqjuakka ajing­guagit in­u­usiqma. Ti­ti­ralauqpunga titi­rau­jaru­ma­jan­nik am­malu una titi­rau­jaqmilugu. Taqil­i­maamik pi­jari­ira­su­lauq­tara. Ovanga saanni sivunini anaanama qulliq -nga. Ataani takva ajin­guaga akkakma Na­monai, un­alu in­u­u­ju­ni­iqsi­maliq­tuq. Una qayak­turi­aq­tuq­palauq­tuq am­malu pusi­ti­pak&ugu qayani am­malu mak­i­tikangiq­pak&ugu. Ataani Inuk­tut uqaq­tuq Nu­navut am­malu Kin­ngait, atika­ni­ani sa­ni­ani Inuk­shuk am­malu ul­luriaq tapp­suman­gat Nu­navut saimaqutaanit aulaqutaanit. Tun­nunni una ukpiq­tut taqsanga. Taapna na­paaq­tu­mik na­p­ati­ti­juq tigu­mi­aq­tuq nunaqjual­i­maamik, ikuala­jut am­malu sani­gayuq, una ki­gaq­tuq­tuq tuk­si­aqti, ataatat­siara Agiak Pe­taulassie, ajuriq­su­u­ji­u­lauq­tuq Angli­can tuk­si­aqvin­gani. Qu­laani ujarakguqsi­ma­juq taap­nalu iqau­ma­junga ilakka iqali­aqata­lauq­tut mat­ti­tautinut taikani Saa­tu­rit­tuq. Nuqaqata­lauq­tugu taqaiqsiq&uta am­malu tea­tuq&uta ik­si­va­l­uta tak­vani ujara­sukjukmi. Qu­laani taapna nuna atuqata­lauq­tavut nunami aulaaqsi­ma­luta ilagi­i­t­igut. Una Inuk­shuk sana­janga ataatama. Upiq­gaagu­juq ovalukiaq auyau­juq. Qaan­gani tak­maaqsi­mav­i­u­juq titi­rauyaqsi­ma­juq aqsaqniq, uluriaq aaqik­si­mat­si­aq­tut (Big Dip­per, Lit­tle Dip­per, Puppy am­malu Kite). Taqirik­tuq. Una titi­rau­jaqsi­ma­juq ak­maluq­sisi­ma­jumi am­malu avik­tuqsi­ma­jut in­iqauq­tut. Qu­laani ni­aqquqma maqruuk aviksi­ma­jut pisi­ma­jut in­u­usinik. Ul­lakpunga piqataanut una sin­nak­tu­umag­i­lauq­tara tik­iu­ti­valialunga qau­ma­juku­luk­mut am­malu un­gasik­tu­alu­u­lunni.

Un­like her cousins, An­nie Pootoo­gook (1969–2016) and Shuvinai Ashoona, the fo­cus of Si­assie Ken­neally’s draw­ings is ma­te­rial cul­ture, both tra­di­tional and con­tem­po­rary. All the Things That I Have Seen (2016) was drawn im­me­di­ately af­ter the sui­cide of her son. It is a key­stone; each sec­tion is filled with tiny images that mir­ror her life, from her fam­ily bi­ble to John Len­non’s glasses and from har­poons to global sym­bols. – Pa­tri­cia Fe­he­ley

This is me cry­ing be­cause of my son’s sui­cide, hold­ing a globe full of images from my life. I made a list of the things that I wanted to draw and made this draw­ing. It took a month to fin­ish. In front of me is my mother’s qulliq (oil lamp). Be­low that is an im­age of my un­cle Na­monai, who passed away. He used to go kayak­ing and he would flip his kayak and then right it. Be­low that the Inuk­tut says Nu­navut and Kin­ngait (Cape Dorset), fol­lowed by the inuk­shuk and star from the Nu­navut flag. Be­hind me is a re­li­gious sym­bol. The can­dle­holder holds the whole wide world, fire and the cross, which rep­re­sents a rev­erend: my grand­fa­ther, Agiak Pe­taulassie, who was a min­is­ter in the Angli­can church. Above that there is a rock for­ma­tion that I re­mem­ber from when my fam­ily would go fish­ing at the weir at Saa­tu­rit­tuq. We would take a break and have tea, sit­ting on this rock. Above that is the area where we used to camp as a fam­ily. The inuk­shuk made by my fa­ther. It is spring or sum­mer. Over the camp area draw­ing is the north­ern lights, with star for­ma­tions (Big Dip­per, Lit­tle Dip­per, Puppy and Kite). There is also a full moon. The draw­ings in the cir­cle are di­vided into sec­tions. Above my head are two sec­tions about my life. Run­ning across the sec­ond sec­tion is a dream that I had in which I was walk­ing to­wards this lit­tle light and had a far way to go.

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