From the Editor
by Tarralik Duffy we knew it was the only choice for the cover of our Exchange issue. Duffy, a multidisciplinary artist and writer (you may recognize her from our last issue for her Feature “Uvanga/ Self: Picturing Our Identity”), works between Salliq
(Coral Harbour), NU, and Saskatoon, SK. Capturing both a phonetic pun on the iconic 1982 extraterrestrial as well as a bit of “playground humour” for our Inuktut readers,
Itii Pau speaks both to the influence of popular southern culture on the Inuit imagination and to its appropriation by artists into a new visual vocabulary for Inuit on their own terms.
From “Pipsi” and canned seal to Barney, the friendly purple dinosaur, the accompanying cover story “Snap! Crackle! Inuit Pop Art!” by Cass Gardiner brings together colourful and humorous pieces from across the North that speak to the power of representation and, particularly, to adaptation and revisioning. These works by Inuit artists skillfully recast and reconfigure icnonic southern characters, recentring them to reflect Inuit values, activities and communities.
Similar processes are at work in the digital sphere, as explored by Gabrielle Montpetit in our second Feature “ᓂᐅᕕᕐᕕᒃ: Inuit Art, Design and the Digital Economy,” which looks to the increasing importance of platforms such as Facebook in the changing scope and rapid growth of a key area of the Inuit ar t market today. Finally, we look to projects and experiences made possible through travel—from Inuvik, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NT, to Banff, AB, to Osaka, Japan, and more—in our Conversation, Portfolio and Legacy pieces that explore the ways artists and their varied audiences come together.
In keeping with the spirit of an expanded network of trade, influence and appreciation, for the first time we have handed over our
5 Works article to a selection of celebrated contemporary artists to allow them to share with you those artists who have shaped their own artistic practices and their ways of seeing. The result is a dynamic and personal spotlight on the reach and influence of Inuit
artists. Speaking on the impact of seeing Annie Pootoogook’s coloured pencil drawings as a young artist and the urge to picture her own world, painter Brenda Draney recalls, “Even I had pencil crayons. And, in that small private scale, I might feel brave enough to try.”
Finally, as we were heading to press on this issue, our team was saddened to learn of the passing of Josie Pitseolak (1976–2018). A talented, sensitive and observant artist, I had the pleasure of meeting Pitseolak this past June in Iqaluit, NU, and seeing his beautifully detailed line drawings in person. Recently featured in a Choice piece by Janet Brewster, the Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)based artist will be remembered for his evocative sculptural works and tender, revealing works on paper. On behalf of the Inuit Art Foundation, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends and to express our gratitude for the work of an artist who created beauty as a way to connect with others.
I hope this issue leaves you with the impulse to share the captivating, vibrant and expansive worlds of Inuit art with others, and we thank you for allowing us to share it with you.
We look forward to seeing you again in 2019.
Turn to page 48 to discover how artists have teamed up to produce a fleet of collaborative drawings, prints, performances and more.Qavavau Manumie (b. 1958 Kinngait) Luke RamseyLeaders2012Ink45.7 × 61 cm COURTESY MADRONA GALLERY