Shuvinai Ashoona’s long-awaited solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario has opened in Toronto. Titled Shuvinai Ashoona – Beyond the Visible, a nod to the artist’s ability to translate the fantastical subjects otherwise invisible, the show presents a vibrant selection of primarily recent drawings. The exhibition is a result of the artist’s win of the 2018 Gershon Iskowitz Prize, awarded annually to a significant established Canadian artist to produce a major body of work.
Among the twenty-five drawings on view is the monumental piece Curiosity (2020), which depicts an overhead view of Kinngait overrun by giant monsters, humans, and assorted animals. Acquired from Feheley Fine Arts during Art Toronto in 2020, the drawing represents a culmination of Ashoona’s most notable artistic features: extraordinary colour use, drawing on a large scale, and the intermingling of the otherworldly with everyday subjects.
The subject of her local community is one that Ashoona began drawing as early as 1993, consisting largely of delicate ink renderings of the Kinngait terrain. As the artist began to work on larger scale and in coloured pencil, vibrant and geographically precise depictions of the community began to take shape. Gradually, Ashoona explored a variety of subjects throughout the years—from local people she knew to anthropomorphic insects, to elaborate monsters—and gained recognition for her depictions of fantastical subjects. Curiosity reflects the best of both worlds of Ashoona’s three-decade long career, and counting.
To view available artworks by Shuvinai Ashoona, click here.
Shuvinai Ashoona – Beyond the Visible is on view at the Art Gallery of Ontario until January 2, 2022. Stay tuned for Ashoona’s upcoming exhibition at Feheley Fine Arts, Kinngait Visions, coming in October 2021.