Raising a Child
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Notes from DaVic Gallery: This is one of Jutai’s last works before he passed in 2015. Would you have even considered this drawing to be categorized as Inuit Art had you not seen in this gallery or presented by Dorset Fine Arts? Perhaps the need to verify is what brought you to the details page for this drawing. Jutai Toonoo certainly will challenge your secured sense of what you understood Inuit Art is all about. Jutai’s drawings cast a spell on us, the magic that attracts us and keeps us staring at his works, is the intensity of life that breathes from all of his works. The viewer can feel the energy Jutai put into each of his works and now that energy attracts us, calls us to try to understand what he is expressing. That is the keyword in Jutai’s works, expression.
Such an amazing, intriguing, refreshing surprise to the Inuit Art collector and connoisseurs alike! Are you scratching your head? Don’t. Simply admire this beautiful and amazing composition that truly overflows with life energy, despite the topic, and that takes higher value when you know how and why this is such a rare piece based on the cultural background of the author. How can you not just bathe in such moment expressed with such energy Jutai pours into each and every piece he created?
It is clear in this work the detail paid to every aspect of this apparently trivial moment of this happy and newly growing young family of three with their new baby in arms. Jutai did not grow up living the “old-ways”. Moments like this represent the Inuit culture and way of life today. The young father is not necessarily a skillful hunter risking his life day to day to bring home food and tools. He is not wearing sealskin boots or caribou hide parka. He’s not holding tools of hunting. Instead, he wears modern slippers, blue-jeans, a modern outdoor jacket and certainly a pair of cool looking shades. He is a hero to his family for having rescued the baby’s shoe. The young mother is not waiting in the camp ready with her ulu and tools to stretch skin of the hunt her husband brings. She’s not minding the qulliq to keep the igloo warm. Nor we see this young mother wearing the typical amauti carrying her child. She wears also nice slippers, leggings that are so popular these days, a cool black leather jacket with a patch. The most amazing and surprising piece is her modern baby sling and backpack in lieu of the typical amauti!!
Is Jutai an Inuit Artist rebel? I don’t think, or perceive such intention in his works, in none of them. There is no sarcasm or nostalgia for what once was and is no more. He captured this moment of the young couple with much warmth and tenderness and love and the drawing breathes such energy back to the viewer and into the room this drawing will eventually grace.