Entry to Our Land, Our Art exhibition at the Canadian Museum of Nature
Every name, title, and description in the exhibition was written first in Inuktitut, then in English and French. Image: Pierre Poirier/Provided.
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Our Land, Our Art displays art from seven Inuit artists

Earlier this month, the Canadian Museum of Nature unveiled its newest exhibition in the Northern Voices Gallery space: Our Land, Our Art. Created in collaboration with the Avataq Cultural Institute and a number of Inuit artists, the exhibition emphasizes the central role of the land in the creative processes of these artists.

As seen in the entryway (above), and throughout the exhibition, Our Land, Our Art is presented in English, French, and Inuktitut. That the exhibition provides descriptions in all three languages is crucial; oral storytelling and speaking Inuktitut is an important factor in fostering a connection to the land.

The third instalment in the rotating Northern Voices Gallery is dedicated to Quebec’s Nunavik region. Situated above the 55th parallel, Nunavik is home to many Inuit communities; home to a number of the featured artists.

Meanwhile, some of the artists are working to maintain their connection to their culture while living elsewhere. Art by Taqralik Partridge “addresses life in the North, as well as in southern urban centres,” including the beaded amautik (women’s parka) on display.

In addition to visual art by Partridge, and sisters Qumaq M. Iyaituk and Passa Mangiuk; the exhibition displays photography and video by Lucasi Kiatainaq; footage of a circus performance by Tupiq A.C.T.; and recordings of katajjaniq singing (throat singing) by Evie Mark and Akinisie Sivuarapik.

In the midst of these various mediums, Our Land, Our Art becomes a diverse display of the different ways in which Inuit artists depict their relationship to their land.

The Avataq Cultural Institute also contributed artifacts and art from their collection to the exhibition. Dating back as far as 800 years ago, the artifacts further the art. They depict, for example, “that moment when a hunter experiences a feeling of uncertainty mixed with the adrenaline rush that comes with a success to come.” It’s the same feeling viewers get from Kiatainaq’s photographs of the Nunavik wilderness.

Art, culture, land, and language intertwine where Our Land, Our Art brings together visual and auditory elements of Inuit culture. The exhibition, with a mix of art, artifacts, and descriptions in the artist’s native languages, was carefully curated to promote Inuit culture as it is lived in Nunavik and elsewhere.

Our Land, Our Art is currently on display in the Northern Voices Gallery at the Canadian Museum of Nature. The exhibition will be on display until October 2024, and is included with entry to the museum.