Form & Balance
July 28 – August 25, 2018
One of the few remaining female sculptors practising in Kinngait, Ningeosiak Ashoona (b. 1979) continues to expand the tradition of sculpture through a contemporary vernacular. Taught to hunt from an early age by her father, celebrated sculptor Qaqqaq Ashoona (1928-1996), her experience on the land has grounded her knowledge of Arctic animals. This exhibition showcases Ashoona’s artistic mastery over serpentinite through her recent works, from sculptures of animals to transformation pieces.
Known for her graceful loons with elongated necks and sinuous lines, Ashoona also abstracts the formation of animals by shifting their anatomy, as seen in Multi-Headed Loon and Bird Seal Transformation. Her fascination with these feathered creatures stems from childhood, as she would chase loons with her family by the river at their camp, Shartoweetuk. Similarly, her transformation pieces exude dynamism through the carved negative space in the faces of many animals sharing a body, as she plays with the physics of form and balance of the stone. Sculptures such as Human Transformation are based on the stories of shaman she heard from elders.
Ashoona has expressed that the repetition of form becomes monotonous, therefore, she experiments by carving utilitarian objects, such as office desks. Computer Desk is an example of a desk she sat by while discussing the sale of her loon sculptures at the Co-operative. By sculpting contemporary technology, she progresses the tradition of sculpture towards the twenty-first century.