Nunavut’s Culture on Cloth
Brooks Hall, UVA – Free and open to the public through May 21st
These unique Inuit art works were created by women in a tiny hamlet called Baker Lake. Using vibrant colors and patterns, they convey stories and can be a window into Inuit beliefs and traditions. Witness people transforming into animals and other expressions of Arctic shamanism. Look for timeless portraits of Inuit culture and wildlife. Find joyful depictions of the TUNDRA, the huge wild Arctic biome loved by the Inuit.
From UVA, the collection will be moving to the Yukon Art Center in Whitehorse for the summer, and thereafter on tour at museums and universities throughout the Arctic circumpolar region.
Historically, Inuit women scraped and chewed caribou and seal skins to soften them in the course of creating clothes for family, using sinew for thread. They began applying their complex sewing skills to textiles in the 1960’s as external pressures confined their once nomadic lifestyle. These textiles embellished with appliqué and colorful embroidery are a medium for Inuit women to continue a tradition of detailed art and handwork.
With a population of 1,500 people, Baker Lake is west of Hudson Bay, in Canada’s Nunavut, the huge indigenous region at the top of North America. The Nunavut territory is the size of Western Europe and one of the most sparsely settled and remote regions of the world with a mainly Inuit population of approx. 30,000 which is only the size of UVA!
This exhibit is part of the Arctic Culture Forum Spring 2012 program. From a gallery office on Elliewood that is open to the public, Arctic Culture Forum leads programs on Arctic life and culture for the UVA campus and Charlottesville community.