Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Textile Works from Nunavut

Last weekend, I attended a show at  Feheley Fine Arts, a gallery in downtown Toronto.

The Bouchard Collection is a collection of textile works by women of Baker Lake. They are made of duffel, felt and embroidery floss.

Look at the use of variegated thread!
Powerful image.
"Women Fending Off Evil Spirits" by Victoria Mamnguqsualuk (1994)

Marie Bouchard gave a wonderful talk about how these works came to be. While she lived in the north, she supported the women and their craft and encouraged them to express their thoughts through their sewing tradition. The period these works were created was several years before Nunavut became a territory. For about ten years prior, there were significant changes in the area. The women were able to 'document' their way of life.

M. Buchard pointing out swimming caribou from
Mary Yuusipik Singaqti's piece, "Traditional Camp Scene" (1989).
It depicts a summer camp.

Each face is detailed with embroidery stitches
in Janet Kigusiuq's "Muskox Hunt" (1993)
 The stitching is so beautiful.

Detail, "Women Fending Off Evil Spirits" by Victoria Mamnguqsualuk,
duffel, felt, variegated embroidery floss 

Detail, "Spring Camp" (1988) by Mariam Marealik Qiyuk

Detail, "Abundance" by Mary Kuutsiq (1993)
It is difficult to say which was my favorite but I did like "Tuu'Luq's Family"(seen below) by Marion Tuu'luq. It is traditional and contemporary at the same time....I think of myself as that.

All the details of "Tuu'Luq's Family" are lost in my photograph-
there are embroidered stitches in the background, cut away pieces,
reverse applique, embroidered faces. It is so beautiful!

The exhibit is on till May 26, 2012. Try to make it!! I think I will go again. They're just too special.


  1. I LOVE this kind of work. I was hoping that it would still be up when I am in Toronto on June 1 - hoo. Thanks for sharing.