Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Inspiration From the North

 Canadian artist Kenojuak Ashevakin

I believe that every once in a while an artist, or anyone for that matter, needs to reassess why and what they are doing. One of my favorite methods of inspiring myself, is to seek out types of art that I love and start exploring. Canadian artist Kenojuak Ashevakin is inspiring me right now.

 Talelayu Opiitlu (Talelayu with Owl), by Kenojuak Ashevak, Stonecut, Stencil on paper, 1979

Kenojuak Ashevakin is important to the print making tradition of Cape Dorset, Canada. Her work inspires me with it's fresh and lively interpretations of Inuit mythology. This reclining image of Taleelayuk, a female Inuit  sea spirit, with a great yellow-eyed owl seem to embody a friendly shamanic power. The artist began her life as a traditional arctic nomad learning how to inset designs onto animal skin clothing. She later transferred those skills to printmaking and has become one of Canada's most iconic artists. Her images have appeared on Canadian stamps and she has won national honors including Companion of the Order of Canada.

 My Birds, by Kenojuak Ashevak, Stonecut, Stencil on paper, 1975

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