All the Things That I Have Seen: An Interview with Siassie Kenneally
Siassie Kenneally: Tamainnik Tamakuniga Takusimajannik Takvangat Inuuniganit 2016-mut
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.