Padloo Samayualie

North & South


October 21 – November 11



Padloo is a multi-dimensional artist. She studied jewellery-making at Arctic College, participated in a drawing workshop in Banff in 2001, and later took part in an Animation Workshop in Cape Dorset. Like many of the artists of this settlement, Padloo comes from an earlier generation of sculptors and graphic artists. She is the granddaughter of the late Keeleemeeomee Tunnillie, whose work was represented in the annual print collections from the 1960’s through 1983. Padloo’s aunt, the late Eliyakota Samayualie, was also a graphic artist with a distinctive symmetrical style. Her mother, Kudluajuk Ashoona and her sister Nicotye Samayualie are contemporary graphic artists.

For the last two years, Padloo has concentrated on drawing. Her work was successfully presented by Feheley Fine Arts at Art Toronto in 2016. That same year she participated in an artist residency at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City. This experience has provided a strong source of inspiration for the works in this exhibition.

This is the first solo exhibition for this emerging artist. North and South explores moments of everyday life with attention to architecture, to create a dialogue about lived experience in the Northern and Southern spaces. With these drawings, Samayualie narrows our focus onto details of the structures around us that often go unnoticed—yet are essential to our livelihood. The result is a style that is distinctive and atmospheric. The spaces depicted in this exhibition emphasize traces of human life—although the spaces themselves are devoid of people. In her art practice, Padloo often uses photographs as a point of reference to create her detailed drawings in coloured pencil and ink. Other drawings capture views from her memories and life experiences.

About her drawing A Pole – No Life Without it, 2017, Padloo says “there is no life without the powerlines. No electricity, no phone.” This is a common motif in Padloo’s depictions of the North: wires emerge from electrical poles and thread through Cape Dorset, stitching it together, providing a source of energy for light, telephone, and other technology that offer the infrastructure essential to the community. By contrast, in her drawings of the South, Samayualie calls our attention to consider how water systems are an integral part of our daily lives: in Pipes in New York, 2016, we see pipes that tangle along side a New York brick wall, like veins pumping water throughout the city. Of this drawing and New York Water Tower, 2017, Samayualie has said, “I just wondered how the pipes were running after seeing all those big buildings, how water gets to the people.”

By weaving architectural renderings from these two disparate places—Cape Dorset and New York City—Padloo reminds us how reliant we are on our environment, and how it facilitates our daily lives. The drawings in North and South provoke us to consider how urban/rural, Northern/Southern, infrastructures function to shape our experience in the world.

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