Shuvinai has an intuitive sense of compositional elements, and they always rest securely in nature. Her world(s) are a floating and colour-infused metaphor for the centre of family life that is positioned on an axis in space and held in place through a galactic network of anchors and supports extending from within the larger community.
Even a polar bear becomes a snake tendril in Shuvinai’s compositions. This transformational creation ties her world(s) together with encircling care while being ever vigilant of the floating stars.
One world has now become many for Shuvinai, and each represents the twin expanding universes of her external and internal creative explorations. The once flattened and extended white field against which the original precisely organized ink line renderings were grouped and distributed, has now been replaced by a sky; a sky that is spatially but carefully worked in colour and balance and extended out to the image edge, much like the horizon of heaven.
Shuvinai Ashoona was born in Cape Dorset, Nunavut in 1961. Her artistic heritage is considerable; she is the grand-daughter of renowned graphic artist Pitseolak Ashoona and the daughter of sculptor Kiawak Ashoona. This is her second solo exhibition at Feheley Fine Arts and her first in Centre Space. An illustrated catalogue will be available.
Her work has been featured in group exhibitions across Canada as well as in the United States and Europe. Exhibitions in public institutions include Shuvinai Ashoona and Shary Boyle at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, University of Toronto; Oh Canada, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams; Inuit Modern, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto and Sanaugavut: Inuit Art from the Canadian Arctic, National Museum, New Delhi.
Carleton University Art Gallery has recently published a monograph on Shuvinai Ashoona which serves as the catalogue for their 2009 solo exhibition of her work. Her drawings are included in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, National Gallery of Canada, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Toronto Dominion Bank Group and numerous private collections.
Earth and Sky, the collaboration with artist John Noestheden which sparked this new series of drawings was commissioned for a city block-long installation in Basel, Switzerland in 2008. Shown in banner form during the 2008 Nuit Blanche and at the 2012 Sydney Biennale, it will again be exhibited in Spring 2013, mounted over the impressive entrance path to the National Gallery of Canada. The original collaborative drawing is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.
MY GRANDPA’S MOTHER (2011), Ink and coloured pencil, 25.5 x 19.5
SUNAMI (2011), Ink and coloured pencil, 24.5 x 10.5”
WORLD MONSTER (2012), Ink and coloured pencil, 48.5 x 49”|
EARTHS WITH PEOPLE ON THEM (2011), Ink and coloured pencil, 19.5 x 25.5”