Our Beautiful Land
La Guilde presents the first Montreal exhibition exclusive to artists from Nunatsiavut
From October 3 to November 24, La Guilde, in partnership with Concordia University and Air Borealis, is proud to present the collective exhibition Nunatsiavut / Our Beautiful Land which will bring together 25 artists: Eldred Allen, Holly Andersen, Peggy Andersen, Heather Campbell, Heather Carroll, Tracy Denniston, Vanessa Flowers, Veronica Flowers, Jason Jacque, Polly Jacque, Samantha Jacque, Shirley Moorhouse, Yvonne Moorhouse, Roxanne Nochasak, Sophie Pamak, Garmel Riche, Inez Shiwak, Jane Shiwak, Jason Sikoak, John Terriak, Dorothy Voisey, Blanche Winters, Jessica Bonnie Winters, Nellie Winters and Jennie Williams.
The Guild is proud to present the first Montreal exhibition entirely dedicated to Nunatsiavut artists.
Based on a jury selection, following a call for artists which focused only on artists from Nunatsiavut, the Inuit region of Labrador, the artwork by these artists covers the last five years of artistic production. In total, more than forty artworks realized by established and emerging artists await you, namely photographs, sculptures, paintings, drawings and artworks linked to the fine arts, all related to the theme of an engagement with “their beautiful land’’, through subject matter, material or medium.
“Artists from Nunatsiavut (the Inuit region of Labrador) have, until very recently, been hidden from the spotlight that shines on Inuit art in Canada. Left out of the early initiatives that supported the development of today’s thriving contemporary Inuit art ecosystem, Nunatsiavummiut artists living far from urban centres have been hindered from sharing their talents with the world until recently.
Following the success of the first nationally touring exhibition SakKijâjuk: Art and Craft from Nunatsiavut (2015-2019) which introduced new audiences to Inuit art from Labrador, Canada and the world has begun to embrace the diverse, powerful and expressive works created by the artists who call Nunatsiavut their homelands.”
– Dr. Heather Igloliorte
Nunatsiavut / Our Beautiful Land is seen through the theme of land and territory. This theme is quite broad, to allow artists to unleash their creativity and to interpret in their own way what ‘Our Beautiful Land’ means to them. Hence, some artists created art pieces using local materials, while others demonstrate an interest in themes like tradition, colonization, environment and climate change.
This is in fact the case with Caribou lost in Shadow by photographer Eldred Allen who shows by aerial view (using a drone) a lonely caribou away from his herd, an increasingly more common reality in Arctic regions, the first regions affected by climate change. This work of art is also much more interesting, since it sheds light on new and innovating forms of expression and shows how new technologies are an integral part of Inuit communities. Most of the artworks presented are somewhere between both tradition and modernity.
‘Recognizing the essential work of these artists and providing them with a space to exhibit their work has always been one of the Guild’s main mandates.’
Nunatsiavut / Our Beautiful Land is an important and necessary project to increase the outreach of artists from the Northeast coast of Inuit Nunangat. Artists from Nunatsiavut are nearly absent from contemporary publications on Canadian Inuit art. Besides the precursor exhibition curated by Heather Igloliorte titled SakKijâjuk: Art and Craft from Nunatsiavut in 2015 which was extremely successful (but not presented in Montreal), no other exhibition has given such an extensive overview of the artistic production of this community.
Hence, we have had very few opportunities to learn about their distinct history and ancestral knowledge as transmitted from generation to generation through the arts, language and tradition. Recognizing the essential work of these artists and offering them a space to display their artwork has always been one of the most important mandates of La Guilde.
Images: courtesy of La Guilde
La Guilde, historical gallery and museum institution of Canadian art, has been preserving, promoting and encouraging fine crafts for more than one hundred years. Specializing in Inuit and First Nations art, La Guilde is a non-profit organization that holds a permanent collection, one of the most influential in Canada, a historically and culturally rich archives department, an educational program with a broad outreach, and a gallery which draws together works by renowned and emerging artists. Situated in downtown Montreal, La Guilde’s gallery offers all of its customers high-quality contemporary art.