Mark Igloliorte: Anitta! – Above All Negations

Exhibition opened September 18, 2021

Feheley Fine Arts is thrilled to present Mark Igloliorte’s first solo exhibition at the gallery, Anitta! – Above All Negations. In this show, Igloliorte presents new works that look at the nuances of colour and text as a driver for exploring Indigenous knowledge. This exploration is rooted in language, as well as personal and cultural imagery.

An avid skater, the Igloliorte uses skateboards as a vehicle to explore Inuktitut. The exhibition includes two sibling wall installations of twenty skateboard decks each, coloured with gradients moving across each board. Stenciled words are painted on with aerosol – one set brightly coloured, the other one subtle. Words like Ottugak, meaning “do by trial and error,” and Piusiak, meaning “become better,” speak to the artist learning the language of his heritage through the process and practice of painting.

Igloliorte’s canvas Untitled (2021) illustrates two people – one, a younger version of the artist and the other, a current representation. In the background of the painting are three kayait (kayaks), traditionally used for hunting or travel on water. For this rendering, Igloliorte drew from a miniature Nunatsiavut kayak carved by an Inuk hunter one century prior. The work demonstrates what Maori curator Karl Chitham has explained as, “suggest[ing] that this is a process of taking ownership of how these markers of cultural knowledge can be reframed to represent something positive that retains its authenticity.”[1]

Through Igloliorte’s process of learning and practicing – both Inuktitut and skateboarding – the meanings of words present in the installation are reframed with this processual concept in mind. Suliatsak, for example, means “work to be done,” an ode to the artist’s ongoing learning process. Words like Aliana encapsulate the essence of the exhibition in its entirety, from the perspective of both the artist and viewer – “pleasure. How pleasant it is.”

[1] Karl Chitham, Traverse: Works by Mark Igloliorte (Hamilton, New Zealand: Ramp Gallery, 2019).