Sunday, August 9, 2020

Vancouver Art Gallery Launches Its Spring Season With Shuvinai Ashoona: Mapping Worlds

Vancouver Art Gallery22 Feb '20 to 24 May '20 @ 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

    The Vancouver Art Gallery presents two noteworthy exhibitions as part of its 2020 spring season line-up. Shuvinai Ashoona: Mapping Worlds is making its debut in Western Canada from February 22 to May 24, 2020 featuring pencil crayon and ink drawings produced by Shuvinai Ashoona, the celebrated Inuk artist, over the past two decades. lineages and land bases, on view from February 22 to May 18, 2020, presents over 80 works including Sophie Frank’s Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) basketry and Emily Carr’s late landscape paintings alongside artworks made during the 1960s from the Gallery’s permanent collection in order to explore ideas of subjectivity and personhood in relation to the natural world.

    Shuvinai Ashoona: Mapping Worlds
    February 22 to May 24, 2020

    The exhibition brings together a selection of 36 works on paper produced by Shuvinai Ashoona over the past two decades. Celebrated for her highly personal and imaginative iconography that combines earthly and extraterrestrial realms, Mapping Worlds is a vital representation of this third-generation Inuk artist’s work.

    Ashoona’s drawings in ink, graphite and coloured pencils demonstrate her wide-ranging interests in narratives that blur the boundaries between reality and fantasy, past and future. Influenced by her environment and fed by her fascination with horror films, comic books and television, Ashoona references traditional Inuit iconography from everyday life to the mythic; offering strange and fantastical visions that evoke altered states of mind.

    Ashoona’s work speaks to anxieties about the future related to resource extraction and our fears of the unknown, the monstrous and the “other,” yet her artwork does not depict humans in opposition to the otherworldly. Her brightly coloured drawings teem with life, and while the Inuit community occasionally clashes with the artist’s creatures, more often than not they co-exist harmoniously. Ashoona’s work has become a vision for dialogue on the effects of climate change in the northern hemisphere, the role popular culture plays in Arctic communities and the ways in which Inuit art and artists are represented within Canada and abroad.

    Ashoona was born in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut, in 1961 and has worked and lived on the southern tip of Baffin Island for most of her life. Although not formally trained as an artist, her drawings are part of a lineage of artistic practice beginning with her grandmother Pitseolak Ashoona (1908–1983) and continued by her first cousin Annie Pootoogook (1969–2016). She began drawing in 1996 and was first included in the Cape Dorset annual print collection in 1997. Since then, Ashoona has worked regularly at Kinngait Studios, which was incorporated in 1959 as the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative and is the longest-running art cooperative in the Canadian Arctic.

    Public Programs:
    Lecture: Nancy Campbell on Shuvinai Ashoona
    February 22 | 11 AM
    Room 4East, In the Gallery
    Free for Gallery Members or with admission. Registration is required.
    Register today at

    Described Tour
    March 28 | 10:45 AM
    2nd Floor, In the Gallery
    This program is designed for people of all ages who are blind and partially sighted. Capacity is limited. Registration is required.
    To register, please contact the Group Bookings Coordinator at 604.662.4717 or at to register.

    lineages and land bases
    February 24 to May 18, 2020

    At its core, lineages and land bases presents a new perspective on the work and lives of Sophie Frank and Emily Carr, two women artists important to BC’s history. The exhibition explores differing ideas of selfhood and its relation to the natural world, revealing how worldviews are informed by culture, history and experience. By urging us to think anew about identity and its ties to the non-human world, lineages and land bases offers a deeper understanding of Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) basketry through the work of Frank and her contemporaries, and its connections with Carr’s late landscape paintings (after 1934). Carr’s watercolour portrait, Sophie Frank (1914) will be displayed alongside Carr’s writings and Frank’s letters to Carr; a small selection of Carr’s paintings and ceramics with First Nations content; a weaving by contemporary Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) artist Tracy Williams (Sesymiya); and an audio recording of Frank’s great-grandnephew, Chief Bill Williams.

    lineages and land bases extends its exploration of nature and culture through contemporary artists that sought new ways to represent their relation to the world around them. More than 80 works drawn from the Gallery’s collection will feature works in diverse media from painting to installation. Artists include Kenojuak Ashevak, Carl Beam, Karin Bubaš, Edward Burtynsky, Robert Davidson, Patricia Deadman, Christos Dikeakos, Michael Drebert, Julie Duschenes, Lorraine Gilbert, Jochen Gerz, Brian Jungen, Zacharias Kunuk, Mike MacDonald, Landon Mackenzie, Liz Magor, Al McWilliams, Marian Penner Bancroft, Ed Pien, Bill Reid, Arnold Shives, Simon Tookoome, Jeff Wall, Jin-me Yoon and Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun.

    Public Programs:
    Curator’s Tour: Tarah Hogue
    March 3 | 7 PM
    2nd Floor, In the Gallery
    Free for Gallery Members or with admission.

    Panel Discussion: Chief Bill Williams and Dr. Kristina Huneault with Tarah Hogue
    March 14 | 3 PM
    Room 4East, In the Gallery
    Free for Gallery Members and local First Nations or with admission.
    More information about this panel to come. Please visit


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    Event Location Vancouver Art Gallery
    Address: 750 Hornby St
    Post Code: V6Z 2H7

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