Ceramic Bust with Draw­ings (c. 2012–13)

Inuit Art Quarterly - - 5 WORKS -

I had the hon­our of han­dling and ob­serv­ing this rare col­lab­o­ra­tive work closely over the past two years, dur­ing the Earth­lings ex­hi­bi­tion and na­tional tour. The base sculp­ture was hand-built in stoneware by Kurok at the Match­box Gallery stu­dio in Kangiqliniq (Rankin In­let), NU. Deftly skilled, Kurok pat­terned the sur­face of the clay with small cir­cu­lar de­pres­sions, sug­gest­ing tra­di­tional tat­toos that merge into graphic con­stel­la­tions across the face, neck and shoul­ders. There is some­thing be­nign yet su­per­nat­u­ral in this hair­less char­ac­ter, smil­ing softly, small-eared and broad shoul­dered. How­ever, it is the alchemy of Ke­nalo­gak’s su­per­im­posed imagery—her sig­na­ture densely pat­terned and brightly coloured style—that viv­i­fies the sculp­ture. Res­i­dent artists work­ing at the Match­box stu­dio have a his­tory of col­lab­o­ra­tive ceram­ics, but draw­ing on the sur­face of a sculp­ture is an in­no­va­tion. I love how Ke­nalo­gak did not cave to the temp­ta­tion to il­lus­trate the fa­cial fea­tures lit­er­ally, in­stead, us­ing the whole three-di­men­sional sur­face as a sin­gle blank page.

SHARY BOYLE

ESKER FOUN­DA­TION

BE­LOW Jessie Ke­nalo­gak(b. 1951 Qa­mani’tuaq) John Kurok (b. 1977 Kangiqliniq) —Ceramic Bust with Draw­ings c. 2012–13Painted ceramic45.7 × 40.6 × 27.9 cm

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