From the Editor
Three years ago, in the spring of 2016, the Inuit Art Quarterly launched its Climate issue—one we hoped would serve
“to amplify a vital voice, that of artists, in [the] pressing global conversation” on place, climate and ecology. Since that time, the voices of artists have only become louder, the stakes higher and the urgency greater for those whose homelands would be irrevocably changed by a warming world.
This issue of the IAQ on Earth considers the environment in an expanded scope— thinking beyond the cyclical nature of ice and snow to time as it is captured in stone, metal and clay, to geologic time.
Our Features for this issue explore the materials the land provides, both on as well as under the ear th’s surface. Clay, stone, bone, wood and metal are harnessed by artists from across the circumpolar world to give form to new creative visions. In “The Speed of Imagination” artist Shary Boyle recounts the incredible legacy and expansive future of ceramics in Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), NU. Reflecting on her collaborative and generative relationships with some of the Matchbox Gallery’s most celebrated makers including Pierre Aupilardjuk, John Kurok and Leo Napayok, Boyle—a self-described ‘super fan’—shares what she finds so valuable about these innovative works in clay.
The artists featured in our Portfolio,
“What Nuna Provides: 10 Contemporary Carvers,” are based across the Canadian Arctic and for each the materials they use, or combine as the case may be, inform fundamentally personal aesthetic decisions. All, however, share the ability to “bring life to stone in unique detail,” wresting discrete worlds and narratives from often unrelenting materials. Some will be familiar to our readers while others are included in our pages for the first time.
Our Inter view brings together two jewellers, one established, the other earlycareer, to discuss how rapidly the landscape for Inuit-made fine jewellery has shifted. The result has been an explosion of talent that has found its catalyst in Mathew
Nuqingaq’s Aayuraa Studio in Iqaluit, NU, and beyond. Finally, our Legacy by Elaine Anselmi looks to the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement’s commitment that every Inuk has the right to quarry stone for carving. More than 25 years on, however, the truthfulness of that promise depends largely on location, access and mobility.
Throughout this issue, a deep narrative vein emerges: one of articulating one’s relationship to the land. This is perhaps most directly communicated in the works of Niap that grace our cover and this page. Her series Reclamation and De-Categorization performatively reimagines the starkly photographed Nunavik landscapes captured by southerner Robert Fréchette that would otherwise suggest a rugged, uninhabited space. Her brush strokes and electric palette— alongside the mixing of materials of the ceramicists, carvers and jewellers in this issue—illustrate the vibrant and generative partnerships with the land, and all that entails, in each artist’s creative endeavour.
Britt Gallpen Editorial Director
ABOVE Niap (b. 1986 Kuujjuaq/Montreal) — Uncategory 3 Land 2019 Collaboration with Robert Fréchette Archival pigment print and acrylic 61 × 91 cm COURTESY MARION SCOTT GALLERY