Condition: No condition to be noted.
Description by Artist: No description by artist found.
Notes from DaVic Gallery: Just as any other work by Toonoo, Inuung calls into question everything you may think you know about Inuit art. But once you realize this is a drawing by Jutai Toonoo, your expectations shift, your consciousness expands and your perceptions widen.
Echoing the motif of another of Toonoo’s drawings titled Night Time, at first blush, Inuung appears to be an aerial topographical map of an Arctic region. The earthy, greenish and reddish tones along with the rugged and curving lines create an impression of a landscape seen from a bird’s-eye view.
As you take the drawing in, however, you may get startled realizing you are looking at a female torso, from just above her waist to the top line of her thighs. You may wonder if the intention behind drawing the female body as a topographical map was to reflect exactly that: the body’s peaks and valleys, its ravines and plateaus, and its bends and curves, signalling the complexity, mystery and beauty of the female form.
As you contemplate the drawing, your gaze is drawn to the deep reds outlining the delicate area between the two thighs, taking the shape of a ghostly figure. The figure, with its arms extended upwards, and the flowing, swirling lines surrounding it, invokes the image of Munch’s The Scream, transmitting the energy of desperation. The desperation of what? you might wonder. Perhaps the desperation to be discovered. The desperation to be found, explored, tasted. The desperation to be known, experienced. Dare we say the desperation for its thirst to be quenched? For the burning fire of desire to be subdued, at least for a time…
To be discovered, the land – the body – needs a discoverer, an explorer. Will it be a skillful explorer who will take the time to get to know the landscape in every minute detail, learning how to navigate it, eventually merging with it…becoming one with it?
Or will it be a careless, thoughtless explorer, who, not knowing how to tend to the land, will never experience its bounty? Worse yet, will it be someone who gets confused traversing the unfamiliar, suffering the fate of those who get forever lost, never finding their way back?
Adding to the complexity of the composition is Toonoo’s use of mixed media. The chalk, pencil and oil create different textures, offsetting each other, with oil given the prime real estate, portraying the flow of energy within the landscape. The scale of this sensual composition is of note as well. At 30” high and 44” wide (76 cm high and over one meter wide), this unique and captivating drawing will surely be a magnificent addition to any art collection.
The above description is copyrighted and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. When using the copyrighted material, please credit DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.