Cornelius (Kooneeloosee) Nutarak (Pond Inlet), Using Blubber to Make Fuel, 1964, graphite, pencil crayon on paper, 50 x 65 cm, Canadian Museum of History, IV-C-6952
Picturing Arctic Modernity: North Baffin Drawings from 1964
7 January–9 April 2017
Historical Feature and R. Fraser Elliott Galleries
Curated by Norman Vorano, Curator of Indigenous Art at Agnes Etherington Art Centre and Assistant Professor of Art History at Queen's University with the assistance of practicum student Rosemary Legge

This exhibition examines a transformative era in Canada’s Arctic through a unique collection of drawings gathered by Terry Ryan, the artist and arts advisor who worked in Cape Dorset. Created over a three-month period in early 1964 by Inuit men and women from the North Baffin communities of Clyde River (Kanngiqtugaapik), Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik) and Arctic Bay (Ikpiarjuk), the drawings eloquently document Inuit perspectives of daily life, history and memory during a time of profound social change. Through accompanying video clips, visitors to the exhibition will encounter the contemporary voices and reflections of the artists, their descendants, and friends, who provide an intimate connection to the people, events and themes depicted in the drawings, while underscoring the importance of cultural heritage to communities today.

I’m very honored and very happy that I was able to talk about the drawings, because they have made my life better to remember how it used to be back then. When I see these drawings, I think, this was the lifestyle that we were living, and I can remember the things that happened and the things we made back then. That’s good. The drawings refresh my memory.


Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum, Iqaluit, NU
26 August–8 October 2017
Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, QC
16 February–3 September 2018

Piqqusilirivvik, Clyde River, NU
1 June–17 August 2018

Nattinak’s Visitor Centre, Pond Inlet, NU
1 June–17 August 2018

Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, BC
17 November 2018–13 January 2019

Woodstock Art Gallery, Woodstock, ON
16 February–30 June 2019

Developed by the Agnes Etherington Art Centre and the Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, Quebec, with contributions by and support of various Nunavut organizations including the Pond Inlet Archives, Itaq, and Ilisaqsivik. The exhibition was made possible in part by a grant from the Museums Assistance Program, Government of Canada.

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