Shuvinai Ashoona: Life & Work explores the meteoric rise of Canada’s most renowned Cape Dorset-based artist whose personal drawings of fantastical beasts and imagined worlds have challenged stereotypes of Inuit art and earned her international fame.
Shuvinai Ashoona is one of Canada’s most renowned artists, whose work has been celebrated domestically as well as in Australia, Europe, and the United States. In the publication Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing (Phaidon, 2013), Shuvinai is recognized as a member of a new generation of artists that engage with drawing in innovative ways. Her highly imaginative work combines aspects of traditional Inuit culture and mythology with influences derived from the non-Arctic world.
Born in Kinngait (Cape Dorset) in 1961, Shuvinai is part of a famed dynasty of artists that includes her grandmother Pitseolak Ashoona and her Sobey Art Award–winning cousin, the late Annie Pootoogook. In the mid-1990s Shuvinai began producing detailed, primarily monochromatic drawings depicting the natural landscapes and traditions of the North. By the late 1990s, however, her attentions shifted to fantastical creatures, dream-like landscapes, and aerial-perspective representations of a global community, expressed in vivid colour. Shuvinai Ashoona: Life & Work explores the world of an artist whose rich graphic imagery conveys an intricate and textured personal vision. Using pencil, pen and ink, and markers to render dense, highly imaginative drawings, Shuvinai creates art that reflects the intersection of values between the traditional and the contemporary in the North.
Nancy G. Campbell is a recognized authority on Inuit art. A past editor of the Inuit Art Quarterly, she has been an independent curator of Inuit and contemporary art since 1993 and is currently a guest curator at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Campbell has worked for other institutions, including The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto and the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre at the University of Guelph. She holds a master of arts from the University of British Columbia in arts education and a doctorate from York University in art history.
Key Selling Points
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- A comprehensive book on contemporary Inuit artist Shuvinai Ashoona that makes complex artistic concepts accessible to a general audience, such as the positioning of Inuit art in mainstream Canada, Inuit resilience, reconciliation and collaboration with non-Inuit artists.
- The only series that identifies and contextualizes key works in Shuvinai’s artistic career, chronologically mapping developments in her style and subject matter.
- Author Nancy Campbell has written extensively on Shuvinai Ashoona and is a well-known and respected authority on Inuit art in Canada. Campbell has made several trips to the North and visited with Shuvinai on numerous occasions.
- 80 full-colour illustrations, many of works that have never before been reproduced.
- Includes a “Where to See” section that directs readers to the public institutions that hold the artworks illustrated in the book. It also provides the location and contact information for each.
- Includes a glossary of important artistic terms that occur throughout the book, including people, artistic techniques, materials, and institutions.
- Part of the Canadian Art Library Series, the only fully illustrated series on Canadian artists.
- The Canadian Art Library Series makes Canadian art history a contemporary conversation with its accessible, beautiful, and informative books on individual artists. The series highlights the diversity of artists, techniques, and styles in Canadian art and aims to make lesser-known artists household names.
- The website of the Art Canada Institute is visited by just under a million readers each year. The ACI site engages academics and art lovers alike. It is the go-to resource on Canadian art history.