This elaborate, large-scale drawing encompasses shifting views of spiders and other insects in a rugged landscape. Imbuing the scene with dynamic movement, the dramatic, sinuous lines of the creatures’ bodies and spiders’ silk carry the viewer’s gaze in a multitude of directions within the labyrinthine composition. Its complexity attests to Ashoona’s masterful draughtsmanship and deft balance of black ink with the negative space of the white paper. She arrived at this mature style in the early 2000s after years of experimenting, first with sparsely detailed works in the early nineties and then with dark and dense landscapes.
Shuvinai Ashoona, All Kinds of Spiders in Different Views, 2011
Black felt pen over graphite on wove paper, 83 x 125 cm; image: 72.7 x 114.5 cm, Collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, purchased 2011 (43460). Photo credit: National Gallery of Canada.