‘Bringing Supplies’ by Kudluajuk Ashoona – Inuit Art from Cape Dorset 2015 original hand drawing collection presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.
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Notes from DaVic Gallery: It is amazing how Kudluajuk captures and creates renditions of such trivial day-to-day activities into magical compositions that are not only with great artistic merit but also loaded with meaning when we have knowledge of the past and the present of the Inuit. Comparing activates or renditions by other artists that represent activities of the past nostalgically called “the old ways” with Kudluajuk’s renditions of today’s trivial activities, the influence of modernization can be obviously daunting, especially knowing that this change has happened within the timeline of one generation. That is, some of today’s artists and people still live today that can tell personal experiences of the “old ways”.
How deceptive this simple drawing can be and simply disregard it as just a portrait of a guy carrying a box. I look at Kudluajuk’s works and cannot help wonder what she was thinking and what is she communicating, telling us. Is she simply capturing a simple trivial moment frozen in time or is she nostalgically conveying to us what Inuit culture is like today compared to what is was before, “in the old days”? My interpretation of this drawing based on most of Kudluajuk’s works is what can probably be more trivial and routine than bringing home supplies or groceries from our favourite store on the street. We probably do this activity with a level of nuisance. If we again put in context a comparison with the “old ways” of the Inuit, this certainly gives a strong impression of humble acceptance of the modern ways of living imposed on the Inuit culture. Where a man was to go in life or death hunting trips to bring the necessary supplies, today they now go shopping to the convenience store. So we think it is that simple, and this drawing still hides the well-known financial struggles in arctic communities where not only employment is low but where goods are 4 to 10 times more expensive than we would pay in our modern southern comfortable cities.