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Shuvinai Ashoona

Artist Bio

By turns uncanny, comical and disquieting, Shuvinai Ashoona’s idiosyncratic dream-like imagery erases the distinctions between the natural and spirit worlds, and between the real and imagined. Many of the artist’s images include fantastical monster-like creatures, while others portray people and planets orbited by a range of beings including fish and walruses. Ashoona’s drawings of tents and wooden structures positioned on rock strewn landscapes often provide glimpses of their interiors, transforming what might otherwise be mistaken for images belonging to ethnographic illustration into uncanny meditations on the fluid boundary between inside and outside. Known for her aerial perspectives and cropped compositions, Ashoona’s carefully executed drawings and prints are often marked by a filmic sensibility.

The daughter of the well-known sculptor Kiawak Ashoona and granddaughter of the late Pitseolak Ashoona, the great graphic artist, Shuvinai Ashoona was born in 1961 in Cape Dorset on Baffin Island. 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, Ashoona’s reputation as a contemporary Canadian artist has steadily grown over the years. Her works are included in several prominent institutional collections, including the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

MSG Exhibitions

News

Publications & Editions

Artist CV

Selected Exhibitions

  • Shuvinai Ashoona: A For Sure World, Marion Scott Gallery, Vancouver BC, October 14 – November 25, 2017
  • Earthlings, Esker Foundation, Calgary AB, January 21 – May 7, 2017
  • Astral Bodies, Mercer Union, Toronto ON, November 25, 2016 – February 4, 2017
  • Shine a Light: Canadian Biennale 2014, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa ON, October 17, 2014 – March 8, 2015
  • Universal Cobra: Shuvinai Ashoona & Shary Boyle, Pierre-Francois Ouellette art contemporain, Montréal QC, November 7 – December 19, 2015
  • Unsettled Landscapes, SITElines: New Perspective on Art of the Americas, Sante Fe NM, July 20, 2014 – January 11, 2015
  • Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa ON, May 17 – September 2, 2013
  • Dorset Seen, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa ON, April 2 – June 2, 2013
  • Exploring Cape Dorset Art: Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? Identity in Contemporary Cape Dorset Art, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg ON, February 2 – June 16, 2013
  • Shuvinai Ashoona: The Printed Works, Marion Scott Gallery, Vancouver BC, September 8 – 29, 2012
  • Earth and Sky: Shuvinai Ashoona & John Noestheden, 18 Biennale of Sydney, Sydney Australia, June 27 – September 16, 2012
  • Oh, Canada, Massachussetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams MA, May 26, 2012 – April 1, 2013
  • Surreal: Eight Artists in the Fantastical Tradition, Marion Scott Gallery, Vancouver BC, October 14 – November 20, 2011
  • Inuit Modern: The Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto ON, April 2 – August 21, 2011
  • It Is What It Is, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa ON, November 5, 2010 –January 23, 2011
  • The Drawing Room, Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver BC, July 17 – August 7, 2010, presented by DRAWN
  • Facing Forward: New Works from Kinngait Studios, Marion Scott Gallery, Vancouver BC, May 8 –June 6, 2010
  • Monster, West Vancouver Museum, West Vancouver BC, February 5 – May 8, 2010
  • Uuturautiit: Cape Dorset Celebrates 50 Years of Printmaking, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa ON, October 16, 2009 – January 17, 2010
  • Extreme Drawing, Marion Scott Gallery, Vancouver BC, July 18 – August 30, 2009
  • Noise Ghost, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto, Toronto ON, May 28 – June 14, 2009
  • Shuvinai Ashoona: Drawings, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa ON, April 27 – June 14, 2009
  • Shuvinai Ashoona: Drawings 1993 – 2007, Marion Scott Gallery, Vancouver BC, October 13 – November 25, 2007
  • Landscape: Contemporary Inuit Drawings, Marion Scott Gallery, Vancouver BC, May 4 – June 18, 2006

Public & Corporate Collections

  • Art Gallery of Ontario
  • National Gallery of Canada
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Smithsonian
  • Vancouver Art Gallery
  • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
  • BMO Financial Group, Corporate Art Collection

Art Fairs

  • Art Toronto, Marion Scott Gallery, 2013

Media Reviews

  • Rachel Woodward, Esker Foundation brings artists from across Canada together for Earthlings, The Gauntlet, January 17, 2017
  • Robin Laurence, Inuit visions stand apart, The Georgia Straight, September 6, 2012
  • Peter Varga, Shuvinai Ashoona’s 21st Century Style Represents Nunavut as She sees it, Nunatsiaq Online, July 2, 2013
  • Sarah Milroy, Shuvinai Ashoona: Inuit Feminism Goes Global, The Globe and Mail September 7, 2012
  • Hadani Ditmars, Surreal: Inuit Game Changer, Canadian Art (online), November 3, 2011
  • Robin Laurence, The Georgia Straight, Shuvinai Ashoona: Drawings 1993 – 2007, November 8, 2007
  • Lloyd Dykk, Interior complexity at odds with Cape Dorset tradition, The Vancouver Sun, Lloyd Dykk, October 19, 2007

Honours & Achievements

  • Elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts, 2016
  • REVEAL Indigenous Art Award, Hnatyshyn Foundation, 2017

References

  • Leslie Boyd & Sandra Dyck, Dorset Seen, Carleton University Art Gallery, 2017
  • Nancy Campbell, Noise Ghost, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, 2015
  • Meeka Walsh, Shuvinai Ashoona, Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing, Phaidon, 2013, pg. 32-33
  • Sandra Dyck, Shuvinai Ashoona: Drawings, Carleton University Art Gallery, 2012
  • Denise Markonish (ed.), Oh, Canada: Contemporary Art From North America, The MIT Press, 2012
  • Gerald McMaster (ed.), Inuit Modern, D & M Publishers Inc., 2011
  • Marcia Connelley, Shuvinai Ashoona, Hunter and Cook, Summer 2011
  • Robert Kardosh, The New Generation: A Radical Defiance, Inuit Art Quarterly, Winter 2008
  • Amy Karlinsky, Land of the Midnight Sons and Daughters: Contemporary Inuit Drawings, Border Crossings, 2008, vol. 27, issue no. 105
  • Amy Karlinsky, Shuvinai Ashoona and the Doors of Perception, Shuvinai Ashoona: Drawings 1993 – 2007, Marion Scott Gallery, 2007
  • Robert Kardosh, Landscape: Contemporary Inuit Drawings, Marion Scott Gallery, 2006
  • Leslie Boyd Ryan, Their Lives, Their Times, Three Women, Three Generations: Drawings by Pitseolak Ashoona, Napatchie Pootoogook and Shuvinai Ashoona, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1999

About the Gallery

Marion Scott Gallery

2423 Granville St.
Vancouver, BC
V6H 3G5
Canada

Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 6pm
Sunday & Monday by appointment

Tel: 604 685 1934
Fax: 604 685 1890
art@marionscottgallery.com

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