Annie Taipanak

June 21 – July 20, 2024

Annie Taipanak (b. 1931) is an Inuk artist originally from Garry Lake, NU. In 1972 her family relocated to Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake) where, since the early 1960s, the Inuit women artists had repurposed their traditional sewing skills to create a new form of cultural expression; textile works, commonly known as wall-hangings. Using wool cloth, felt, and cotton embroidery thread, they transformed these simple materials into deeply personal works filled with images of the land, traditional stories, or fanciful personal iconography. In the early 1980s when the creation of wall-hangings was undergoing a major revival, Taipanak joined this renowned group of female textile artists. She is best known for her vibrantly coloured wall-hangings, embellished with the meticulous technique of closed feather stitching that often repeats throughout the entirety of her compositions. The art of stitching was passed down to Taipanak from her mother, renowned wall-hanging artist Elizabeth Angrnaqquaq (1916–2003). The dynamic animals and figures that her mother once depicted carry on in Taipanak’s work. Caribou, seal, char, ptarmigan, wolves, and dogs intermingle with each other—some are hunting, others are the hunted. Taipanak’s painstaking repetitious closed feather stitches in combination with her distinctive animal and figure cut-outs are what characterize the artist’s textiles. As the elders have passed on, Taipanak is one of the few master textile artists from Qamani’tuaq who carry on their tradition. Her wall-hangings abound with colourful images which celebrate the land, animals, and birds who coexist with the Inuit. Her intricate, masterful stitching over the duffel and felt appliqué forms unify and enliven these wonderful compositions.

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