Niap’s Artwork Acquisition by the AGO

PIQUTIAPIIT, 2022. Felt, suede, Finnish leather, cotton, caribou skin, fur, ivory, beads, beluga whale teeth, black oak, nails. 72 x 48 inches.

We’re thrilled to share that the Art Gallery of Ontario has acquired Niap‘s spectacular textile piece Piqutiapiit at this year’s Art Toronto. ⁠

With funds from the AGO’s Department of Indigenous and Canadian Art, Piqutiapiit was acquired alongside seven contemporary works by Mi’kmaq artist Ursula Johnson, and Inuvialuk artist and curator Kablusiak.

“The three artists we have purchased at this year’s art fair represent a new generation of Indigenous artists from east to west to north that are innovating in material histories that are as old as this land,” says Wanda Nanibush, AGO Curator, Indigenous Art. “Carrying deep knowledge of our past with a playful, irreverent, meaningful and storied contemporary practice, these artists are an important addition to the AGO Collection.” – AGO

Niap created Piqutiapiit during her residency at Montreal’s McCord Museum earlier this year. The monumental 6 x 4 foot hand-beaded, hand-sewn wall-hanging is a testament to the creativity, resilience, and resourcefulness of Inuit women who have kept a practice of sewing for thousands of years. To create the work, Niap used natural and found materials including felt, suede, Finnish leather, cotton, caribou skin, fur, ivory, beads, beluga whale teeth, black oak, and brass nails as both ornamental and structural components.

An incredible celebration of womanhood, Piqutiapiit is also an ode to sisterhood. Niap’s process of creation is likened to that of the traditional amauti, which often required the collaboration of more than one woman to prepare, construct, sew, and bead. Niap called upon the help of her own family and friends to complete Piqutiapiit–an approach of collective sisterhood.

To read more, click here.

We are ever grateful to the AGO, and congratulations to Niap!