February 16, 2015

Northern Lights

What Do Pitseolak Ashoona & Lawren Harris Have in Common?

This past weekend the McMichael Canadian Art Collection opened Northern Narratives, which spotlights non-Aboriginal travellers to the North—including including Lawren Harris, A.Y. Jackson, Frederick Varley, and Sir Frederick Banting—who were driven to the Arctic by their idea of the North as a powerful, magnetic, artmaking place. Alongside their paintings the show features works on paper and sculpture by Inuit artists Pitseolak Ashoona (watch for ACI’s new book on her by Christine Lalonde being released in May), Tim Pitsiulak, Kananginak Pootoogook, Pudlo Pudlat, Napachie Pootoogook, and others. Collectively the vision of this diverse pairing of artists offers a compelling narrative of the northern landscape as a source of sustenance and spirituality. Also on show are not-to-be-missed film excerpts documenting Lawren Harris’s 1930 trip to the Arctic.


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LEFT: Lawren Harris, North Shore, Lake Superior, 1926, oil on canvas, 102.2 x 128.3 cm, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. RIGHT: Pitseolak Ashoona, Memories of Childbirth, 1976, stonecut on paper, printed by Timothy Ottochie, 43.4 x 63.5 cm.

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