In Shovelling Worlds, 2013, a man with a shovel stands before a pile of small globes, for a purpose unknown. The figure’s strained facial expression as he lifts his shovel indicates that shovelling the globes is strenuous work. Ashoona’s depiction of the labouring man’s experience reflects her skilled integration of reality and imagination. The curious presence of multiple worlds in this work is represented in other drawings by the artist in the form of floating globes, women giving birth to globes, and people holding globes. This symbol carries positive connotations of new possibilities, regeneration, and alternate realities.
Shuvinai Ashoona, Shovelling Worlds, 2013
Coloured pencil, porous point pen and graphite on paper, 127 x 127 cm, Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, purchased with the assistance of the Joan Chalmers Inuit Art Fund, 2013 (2013/90). © Dorset Fine Arts.