‘Spirit’s Domain’ by Pudlo Pudlat – Inuit Art – Cape Dorset 1964 print collection presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.
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Notes from DaVic Gallery: “Spirit’s Domain” – this could be by far one of the most unusually visually complex images by Pudlo Pudlat whose interests and influences were wide ranging. Some associate the images with heraldic motifs. We mostly see cultural interpretations of colonialism, hunting, animals, culture, stories, and this print breaks that norm of what we’re used to expect from Pudlo’s work. This is a layered stages or dimensions in the spiritual realm. We can see bird or winged figures that could well be Shaman helping spirits.
As a metaphor for a spiritual journey or mystic enlightenment, flight, or the suggestion of flight, appears in Inuit art with great frequency. The presence of spirits of the air or ‘winged spirits’ is significant in Inuit shamanism. In the traditional nomadic, hunting lifestyle, the shaman is the principal healer and visionary. A key to survival, the shaman is the intermediary between the Inuit people and the greater forces. The spirit helper or spirit animal and shaman have the ability to transform, and often appear to fly or to have wings. Capable of flight, supernatural beings enjoy limitless freedom in the Inuit spirit realm. In “Spirit’s Domain ” we see shaman transformation within the spiritual realm assisted by the helping spirts.
This print is released with Cape Dorset archival collection in 2004 from the archives of the Kinngait Studios, Cape Dorset, Nunavut, never before released.