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Shuvinai Ashoona

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Shuvinai Ashoona
untitled (Ulu), 2006
coloured pencil & ink on paper, 30 x 22 in.

 
Artist Biography             DOWNLOAD PDF
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Shuvinai Ashoona was born in 1961 in Cape Dorset on Baffin Island. She is the daughter of the well-known sculptor Kiawak Ashoona and granddaughter of the late Pitseolak Ashoona, the great graphic artist. Her own career started in the mid-1990s when she began making drawings for the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative. Often startlingly different from other Cape Dorset graphic expression, her works have not always been readily accepted by collectors of Inuit art. Nevertheless, in recent years Ashoona's reputation as a contemporary artist has steadily grown.
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Ashoona's first works were small monochromatic ink drawings depicting the land. Many of these works show receding expanses of rocky tundra with sparse vegetation; streams run over the land in some images, often turning into small waterfalls. Although a few works show a horizon, the majority look down upon the landscape from a nearly aerial, closed off perspective. Atmospheric and delicately detailed, these early drawings are often characterized by a subtle eeriness.
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In the late 1990s, Ashoona's images became less naturalistic and darker in mood. Works based more on imagination than on observation of the physical world started to appear, suggesting a strong inner vision. Many drawings from this period portray subterrnean caverns littered with boulders and spanned by twisting formations. Darkened or illuminated tunnels also appear frequently, as do step- and shelf-like forms. These psychologically charged works are densely and sometimes obsessively drawn. Recently, Ashoona has started to use a range of colour in her images, depicting people and common objects but in her own unique vision, often including textual commentary. While lighter in mood, these works remain obliquely representational in a manner distinctly hers.


 

Selected Press
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CANADIAN ART

GEORGIA STRAIGHT
VANCOUVER SUN


Gallery Exhibitions

SURREAL: EIGHT ARTISTS IN THE FANTASTICAL TRADITION
October 14 - November 20, 2011
 
EXTREME DRAWING
July 18 - August 30, 2009
 
SHUVINAI ASHOONA: DRAWINGS 1993-2007
October 13 - November 25, 2007
 
LANDSCAPE: CONTEMPORARY INUIT DRAWINGS
May 4 - June 18, 2006


Selected Other Exhibitions
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18th Biennale of Sydney, Sydney Australia, June 27 - September 16, 2012
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Oh, Canada, Massachussetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams MA, May 26, 2012 - April 1, 2013
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Inuit Modern: The Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto ON, April 2 - August 21, 2011
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It Is What It Is, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa ON, November 5, 2010 - January 23, 2011
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The Drawing Room, Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver BC, July 17 - August 7, 2010, presented by DRAWN
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Monster, West Vancouver Museum, West Vancouver BC, February 5 - May 8, 2010

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Noise Ghost, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto, Toronto ON, May 28 - August 23, 2009
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Shuvinai Ashoona: Drawings, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa ON, April 27 - June 14, 2009


Public Collections
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Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, ON)
National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, ON)
Winnipeg Art Gallery (Winnipeg, MB)


Publications
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SHUVINAI ASHOONA: DRAWINGS 1993 - 2007
LANDSCAPE: CONTEMPORARY INUIT DRAWINGS


Selected References
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Robert Kardosh, "The New Generation: A Radical Defiance," Inuit Art Quarterly, Winter 2008
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Amy Karlinsky, "Land of the Midnight Sons and Daughters: Contemporary Inuit Drawings," Border Crossings, Issue no. 105


Gallery Information
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MARION SCOTT GALLERY
2423 GRANVILLE STREET
VANCOUVER, BC CANADA V6H 3G5
TEL: 604.685.1934
FAX: 604.685.1890
ART@MARIONSCOTTGALLERY.COM

 
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