June 13 – July 13, 2019
Feheley Fine Arts is pleased to present Masquerade: a solo exhibition of works by Iqaluit-based artist and jeweller, Mathew Nuqingaq (b. 1964). On display are the artist’s phantasmagoric snow goggles which offer a contemporary twist on the eyewear traditionally worn by Inuit and Yupik to prevent snow blindness. Nuqingaq’s works are wearable—sculptural yet functional—and combine diverse materials such as muskox horn, antler, baleen, silver, copper, gold, and wood. Nuqingaq infuses imagination and whimsy into his work, taking inspiration from the stories passed on to him throughout his life.
The notion of protecting one’s vision is both literal and metaphorical for Nuqingaq, who has remained dedicated to supporting the vision of the Inuit artistic community thoughout his career. In 2007 he founded Aayuraa Studio, a collaborative work space in Iqaluit for emerging and established artists working in jewellery design. The studio is fittingly named after the Inuktitut term for “snow goggles,” and today it functions as an important centre for Inuit jewellers to cultivate and preserve their own vision through artistic production.
Nuqingaq is a multifaceted artist who works in jewellery, sculpture, performance, and photography. He grew up in Qikiqtarjuaq (Broughton Island) and attended Arctic College in Iqaluit where he now lives and works. Nuqingaq is co-founder and past chair of the Nunavut Arts & Crafts Association and current President of the Inuit Art Foundation. Notably, he was one of six artists that created the narwhal tusk Mace used by the Government of Nunavut’s Legislative Assembly. His work has been shown in major exhibitions across Canada including Our Land: Contemporary Art from the Arctic at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2016–2017, and Floe Edge: Contemporary Art and Collaborations from Nunavut, 2016 presented by AXENÉO7 and the Nunavut Arts & Crafts Association. In addition to his honours and achievements in the visual arts, Nuqingaq is a talented drum dancer who has performed in international festivals and celebrations around the world. He is a Member of the Order of Canada.