Dr. Phil (2006)

Inuit Art Quarterly - - 5 WORKS -

I have been think­ing about code-switch­ing lately—the way I am a bit more my­self with fam­ily. Pootoo­gook’s (1969–2016) work Dr. Phil seems to reach me there. It was me as a child, watch­ing car­toons with a blan­ket over the heat reg­is­ter in the win­ter. It was my new com­forter and bare feet. Tiles on the floor split­ting the room open for us like a book. The roof at the top of the page. It was a rev­e­la­tion to me that some­one would bring that per­sonal space and make it avail­able. It was like be­ing seen. This speci­ficity ex­ists in her work, and gen­er­ously in­vites us in. Per­son­ally, as a younger artist, it pro­vided me with an idea that even my un­re­mark­able life and ex­pe­ri­ences might be worth ar­tic­u­lat­ing. And that ar­tic­u­la­tion might be res­o­nant for some­one else. With Pootoo­gook’s work this is made even more avail­able by the ma­te­ri­als she used. Even I had pen­cil crayons. And, in that small pri­vate scale, I might feel brave enough to try.

BRENDA DRANEY

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