Manasiah Ak­pali­apik and Pudlo Pud­lat

Muskox and Our Mas­sive Friend

Inuit Art Quarterly - - CONTENTS - by Erik Haites

About a decade ago, af­ter hav­ing ac­cu­mu­lated nu­mer­ous pieces of ar t of var­i­ous gen­res, I asked my­self whether or not I was a col­lec­tor. It was then that I ex­pressly de­cided to be a col­lec­tor of Inuit ar t; most of the works I owned at the time were Inuit prints to­gether with a few carv­ings. To­day, I limit my­self to edi­tioned prints—no draw­ings un­less they re­late to a print—and the oc­ca­sional carv­ing. A col­lec­tion, in my view, should be broadly rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the avail­able ma­te­rial, while also re­flect­ing the tastes and in­ter­ests of the col­lec­tor. My in­ter­ests are re­flected in a fo­cus on ex­per­i­men­tal prints and print­mak­ing me­dia—stone block, wood block, en­grav­ing plate, lino block and sten­cil.

A col­lec­tor, in my opin­ion, also has a re­spon­si­bil­ity to care for the ar t in their col­lec­tion. Now, any older prints I ac­quire are re­stored and all frames have been up­graded to mu­seum qual­ity. In tan­dem, my sup­port for in­sti­tu­tions that sup­port and cel­e­brate Inuit ar t, such as the Keno­juak Cul­tural Cen­tre, the Inuit Art Foun­da­tion and the Inuit Art So­ci­ety, has in­creased.

Many of my favourite ar tists are now well rep­re­sented in my col­lec­tion: Nivi­ak­siak (1908–1959), Keno­juak Ashe­vak, CC, ON, RCA (1927–2013), Jessie Oonark, OC, RCA (1906–1985) and Kanang­i­nak Pootoo­gook, RCA (1935–2010). Of the newer artists, I am es­pe­cially fond of the work of Tim Pit­si­u­lak (1967–2016) and Ningiukulu Teevee. The con­tin­ued emer­gence of tal­ented Kin­ngait (Cape Dorset), NU, ar tists, in­clud­ing Teevee, as well as Shuvinai Ashoona, RCA and Ni­co­tye Sa­mayualie, is also a plea­sure to ob­serve.

My task here, how­ever, is to dis­cuss one of my favourite pieces—a very dif­fi­cult choice to make. As a nod to the com­po­si­tion of my col­lec­tion, I have cho­sen both a muskox sculp­ture and print that I dis­play to­gether. The sculp­ture, Muskox (c. 2002) by Manasiah Ak­pali­apik, de­picts a large, windswept muskox of whale­bone, horn and stone, cap­tured mid-run. It was ad­ver­tised by the Cana­dian Arc­tic Gallery of Basel, Switzer­land, in the Fall 2003 is­sue of Inuit Art Quar­terly (page 17 for those of you with an IAQ col­lec­tion). I pur­chased it af­ter see­ing a few ad­di­tional pho­to­graphs. Since the piece is carved from whale­bone, I was re­quired to se­cure a Con­ven­tion on In­ter­na­tional Trade in En­dan­gered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) ap­proval from En­vi­ron­ment Canada in or­der to bring it back to the coun­try. For­tu­nately, that was not a prob­lem.

To­day, Muskox stands be­low a copy of Our Mas­sive Friend (1984) by Pudlo Pud­lat (1916–1992). This print, fea­tur­ing a favourite sub­ject of the artist, shows a sin­gle muskox ren­dered in black and brown ink, its face squarely fac­ing the viewer. Taken to­gether, the print and the sculp­ture cre­ate a sat­is­fy­ing aes­thetic pair. The scale and lines of the face, as well as the horns in the print and the sculp­ture, are very sim­i­lar. For good mea­sure two other muskox prints—Kanang­i­nak’s Uming­muk (1973) and Pudlo’s Uming­muk (1973)—hang nearby: an in­ter­est­ing va­ri­ety of in­ter­pre­ta­tions of muskoxen by in­cred­i­ble artists who know them in­ti­mately.

— Erik Haites is the Pres­i­dent of Mar­ga­ree Con­sul­tants Inc. and an avid col­lec­tor of Inuit art. His col­lec­tion in­cludes works from all com­mu­ni­ties and spans the his­tory of print­mak­ing, fea­tur­ing ex­am­ples of the many dif­fer­ent me­dia that have been used.

A col­lec­tion, in my view, should be broadly rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the avail­able ma­te­rial, while also re­flect­ing the tastes and in­ter­ests of the col­lec­tor.

Manasiah Ak­pali­apik (b. 1955 Ikpi­ar­juk) — OP­PO­SITE Muskox c. 2002 Whale­bone, horn and stone 53 × 93 × 53 cm PHOTO ERIN YUNES/ AB­BOTT IMAG­ING Pudlo Pud­lat (1916–1992 Kin­ngait) — RIGHTOur Mas­sive Friend 1984 Stone­cut 64 × 97 cm © DORSET FINE ARTS

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.