Father and Brother Going Hunting
“Father and Brother Going Hunting” by Luke Anguhadluq – Inuit Art from Baker Lake 1982 print collection presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts
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Notes from DaVic Gallery: “Father and Brother Going Hunting” – Two travelling groups on their way to set hunting camp. For the amauti worn by the two front adults, it indicates these are women leading the groups pulling the sleighs with a harness. Following behind is a dog harnessed to each of the sleds helping pull the load. Right behind closest to the sleds loaded with three children each are the two males, the father and the brother that will set out for hunting once the camp is set.
Paper size is very large providing a large dominant negative space giving a sense of the vast unlimited emptiness surrounding the travelers. It is in this spacious emptiness where a sense of events is created, where this family comes from, what are they doing and where they are going and what will happen then on a successful of unsuccessful hunt. In this empty vastness, every point of land, every rise, every island and back water is known and named, had its use and its associations. This intimate knowledge of their surroundings helped the Inuit to relocate their meat caches, find their way in inclement weather and navigate long distances along the Back River system to traditional hunting and fishing grounds. Their awareness of the space around them was coupled with an acute sensitivity to time, not measured by the clock but molded by their experience. Hunters were able to determine not only where the migratory routes of fish and game were, but also when the animals passed through them. To catch caribou at their crossing places or fish in the rivers, the Utkuhikhalingmiut had to time their arrival to precede that of the animals. What Anguhadluq expressed in his imagery was this direct and meaningful experience of space and time.
Commonly, artworks will create a focal point where the viewer’s eyes instinctively are drawn to, and though this is common technique Anguhadluq will use, we feel that in this print there is no single point where the rest of the print revolves around. The parallel symmetry on the horizontal line and the almost equal weight and color creates a unified event all at once in the group of travelers.
This is print is dated and issued in 1982, the same year Luke passed away in the month of February and still carries Luke’s signature indicating perhaps one of his very last signed prints.