Kayaks and Cari­bou (1969)

Inuit Art Quarterly - - 5 WORKS -

Like many of Myra Kuki­iyaut’s (1929–2006) draw­ings, Kayaks and Cari­bou takes a sin­gle, cap­ti­vat­ing mo­ment and pauses it, stretch­ing it out by push­ing and prod­ding and col­laps­ing a cast of char­ac­ters into a highly or­ches­trated, dy­namic scene. Here, the bod­ies of Kuki­iyaut’s mul­ti­coloured cari­bou swirl and melt into the page. Along­side them, a fleet of kayaks and hunters surge up­wards, crest­ing on in­vis­i­ble waves and push­ing their tar­gets ever for­ward. In the chaotic cen­tre, how­ever, a sin­gle kayaker is tossed up­side down, hint­ing at the in­her­ent dan­ger of the pur­suit de­spite the artist’s cheer­ful pal­ette and fluid line mak­ing. This work, like many of Kuki­iyaut’s graph­ics, skill­fully mar­ries com­plex and per­sonal nar­ra­tive with pure vis­ual plea­sure, and like most of her draw­ings leaves us with more ques­tions than an­swers—namely, did this fig­ure even­tu­ally flip right side up? I cer­tainly hope so. BRITT GALLPEN Editorial Di­rec­tor

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