SHUVINAI ASHOONA "THE WHOLE WORLD" DRAWING, 2016
Shuvinai Ashoona (b. 1961) is a third-generation artist living and working in Kinngait (previously known as Cape Dorset). Ashoona's work interweaves traditional Inuit art with contemporary influences, exploring themes of cultural identity, mythology, and the Arctic environment.
Over the years, Ashoona's distinct visual language has become the cornerstone of her creative output. Depicting a diverse range of subject matter, the artist seamlessly fuses elements of the natural world with highly imaginative iconography. The result invites viewers to consider the human experience (especially in the North) by juxtaposing themes of Arctic life and interconnectivity to the environment.
Within her oeuvre, the globe is one of Ashoona's most identifiable and recurring motifs. Often represented with a surrealist touch, Ashoona renders the globe diminutively, shrinking it in size in a way that accentuates our responsibility and connection to the universe.
This enigmatic, untitled drawing is an impressive example of Ashoona's style and approach. A single large figure supports the composition, their body hunched over as they bear the weight of a globe (or the whole world) in addition to three ethnically diverse faces that rest on their back. Animals, such as a fish and wolf-like creature fill the middle ground, while a whimsical, rainbow-striped sphere (perhaps an otherworldly planet) peers out from behind.
This work on paper revisits Ashoona's themes of interdependence among humans, the earth, and all living creatures. Like the best of her work, the mystical elements call into question the boundary between reality, imagination, and spiritual consciousness.
In 2022, Ashoona was awarded with a special mention at the Venice Biennale. In addition to exhibiting internationally, her work is represented in prestigious collections across North America including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, and the National Museum of the American Indian, (Washington), among others.
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(The Whole World) "Untitled"
Colour pencil and ink on paper
Signed and dated by the artist
30"H 23"W (work)
32.75"H 25.75"W (framed)
Very good condition
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