Saturday, March 29, 2003
To view the collection, please click on the image above.
There is no other place like the Arctic. What seems a desolate place is in fact teeming with animal life, particularly as the spring thaw begins. Barren plains burst into bloom and lone animals pair up to perpetuate the cycle of life.
The earth bears up her bounty in the form of bears, musk oxen, caribou, foxes, and hares. The goddess Sedna shares her children of the sea: char, walruses, seals, belugas and other whales which all help sustain the Inuit living today. The third realm to offer its creatures is the sky with its geese, loons, owls, ravens and all of the eggs that they lay as well.
The Inuit live between the sky and water worlds - two vast realms which force human inhabitants to obey their harsh rules. The power of the weather and the isolation of the settlements makes living a challenge in which keen observation of animals' survival skills and behaviours help the Inuit to battle the elements successfully.
It is the profound reverence of the animal world that is consistently portrayed to us through Inuit art. The artists are masters at capturing an animal's gesture; freezing a moment in flight or fight. Their ability to capture subtle nuances of character is something we see so often that we might forget to consider it an accomplishment few are capable of.
It is interesting to note that the carvers are as influenced by their materials as they are by their surroundings. The serpentine of Baffin Island is carved into thin wings, sinuous lean bodies and lyrical, twisting sculptures recognized worldwide for their dynamic balance. The hard stone of the Keewatin region gives us heavy, sold sculptures rough in form with an ancient feeling.
It is because the Inuit live alongside the animals, and know their habits intimately, that they are able to convey the great beauty and power of the living sky, land and sea.
Through this collection, we are delighted to share with you a glimpse into the noble animal world of the Arctic.
To view the collection, please click here.