Posts Tagged ‘ravens’

Tinirrusiangit is an Inuktitut word that means “their gifts” or “what they gave”.   It is the name of the latest exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario features the work of two Inuit artists, Kenojuak Ashevak (1927-2013) and her nephew Tim Pitsiulak (1967-2016).   Ashevak (1927-2013) was born in southern Baffin Island although she grew up on the land in the traditional, semi-nomadic hunting lifestyle, living in igloos and skin tents.

In the 1950’s she developed TB and ended up, against her will, in a hospital in Quebec City  This was not a happy time in her life.  She had just given birth when she was forcibly transferred; the baby was adopted by a neighbouring family. Several of Kenojuak’s children died while she was in the hospital.   One of the ways of passing time at the hospital was making arts and crafts such as beading and doll making.

When she returned to Kinngait Nunavut (previously Cape Dorset), she learned printmaking.  She was also one of the early members of the West Baffin Eskimo Collective which became Kinngait Studios.

Ashevak was the first internationally known Inuit artist.  Her most famous piece, ‘The Enchanted Owl’ 1960, was used on a Canadian postage stamp in 1970 in honour of the Northwest Territories centennial.   Owls were one of her favorite subjects.

 

below: Ravens and Owl, 1979, stonecut and stencil on paper, by Kenojuak Ashevak

a picture of an Inuit artwork, Ravens and Owl, stonecut and stencil on paper, 1979, by Kenojuak Ashevak

below: Happy Little Owl, 1969, stonecut on paper, by Kenojuak Ashevak

a picture of an Inuit artwork, Happy Little Owl, stonecut on paper, 1969, by Kenojuak Ashevak

below: Untitled, 2004-5, pencil and felt tip marker on paper, by Kenojuak Ashevak

woman in an art gallery looking at two pictures on the wall, both by Kenojuak Ashevak

Tim Pitsiulak, born in Kimmirut Nunavut,  was a hunter and a painter.  He started drawing as a young boy and although he tried carving and jewelry making, most of his artwork centers around depicting everyday life in drawings and paintings.

below: GoPro Hydrophone, 2016, pastel on black paper, by Tim Pitsiulak.  Here, the artist (the hunter) throws a GoPro camera into the water to record the sounds and images of the animals in the water.

gopro hydrophone, a painting by Tim Pitsiulak at the art gallery of Ontario

“What more could I ask for, than for people to notice what we have up here? This is the best thing about being and artist and a hunter.” Tim Pitsiulak quote on the wall at the AGO.

below: Swimming with Giants, 2015, by Tim Pitsiulak.  Beluga whales swimming with a bowhead whale.

two people sitting on a black sofa, looking at a large painting by Tim Pitsiulak called Swimming with Giants, lots of fish and whales swimming in the water

 

The exhibit continues until 12 August 2018

below: I doubt she’s saying that she loves the sunshine THIS MUCH!  but I’d like to think she is.   That’s certainly what was going through my head for most of the weekend so I’m going to pretend that she agrees with me!… especially since I am writing this as the rain falls outside my window.

a group of women walking down College Street at Montrose on a sunny winter day. One of the women is wearing a black coat and she has her arms open wide.

But back to those ravens and flamingos that I promised you…..

below: But not everyone’s happy.  Witches brewing with ravens and crows nearby.   There always seems to be symbolism associated with these large black birds so I went searching for information.  Ravens and crows are found throughout most of the northern hemisphere so many diverse cultures have their own mythologies surrounding these birds.  The best summary I found was this,  “On the negative side, Raven represents the profane, the devil, evil spirits, the trickster and thief, war and destruction, death and doom, the void.  Yet in many cultures Raven also represents deep magic, the mystery of the unknown, death and transformation, creation, healing, wisdom, protection, and prophecy. ” (source)  We don’t know exactly what Fiya Bruxa, Shalak, and Bruno had in mind when they painted this mural but I doubt that it was something positive – those witches look rather angry and nasty.

a mural on a wall of two angry women's faces. One is pale pink and the other is yellow. Many crows or ravens are flying upwards from the women. The mural is on the side of a store that is part of a row of three storey brick storefronts.

below: From the vengeful looking faces above to these hopelessly romantic flamingos is just a matter of a few steps along College Street.  They’re the center part of a larger mural by Katia Engell.

part of a largeer mural of two pink flamingoes with the necks intertwined and their beaks together in a kiss, red petals behind them.

large pink flamingo painted on a wall, part of mural of 4 pink flamingos by Katia Engell

There are 4 flamingos altogether and they are in between two other murals.
In the picture below you can just see the yellow of an alphabet mural by runt

three pink flamingos. Two with entwined necks and one looking on, street art,

below: Too many things in the way makes for an awkward photo but you can still see enough of it to play the game of what creature goes with what letter!  R is for robot dog?  Z is for zlithering thingy with rings?

a mural by runt on a bright yellow background with letters of the alphabet in black and many imaginary creatures in bright colours.

below: J is for jumping purple blob?  C is for coughing-up- dinnersaurus?
And look, an alley to explore……

blog_runt_alphabet_creatures_mural

Wait! Before going down the alley I want to take a few steps backwards. Remember that I mentioned that the flamingos were between two murals?  This is what is on the other side…..

below:  Three cowboys in a mural signed by J Bizzel 4 Shizzel.
The one with his shirt off is the one under the air conditioner.

a mural of three cowboys, one tall, one in the middle and one short, purple and orange scenery behind them.

below: This strange but happy fellow was waiting in the alley.

face of a creature with bulging eyeballs, a large oen mouth showing many big rounded white teeeth, and a long tongue that can make a spiral as it curls back on itself.

a man is spray painting street art on the back of a building in an alley. Two others are standing in the lane watching him

part of a mural of a boy with headphones on, seat crossed legged on the ground and pointing downwards. He seems to be pointing at a collection of spray paint cans sitting on the ground below the mural.

below: If you look closely at this painting, you will notice that the wavy lines continue behind the bars of the railing and that there is only a small distance between the railing and the wall.    That was not a simple paint job.

a white staircase is diagonal in the picture, with white metal bars and railng, immediately behind it is a street art picture of an orange face blowing down towards the stairs. White wavy lines radiate from the open mouth

below: ‘Such a fool’ and someone to agree with it.

paste up graffiti that says such a fool. Someone has written true in large letters beside it.

below: I’m not too sure what to say about this one.  Vermut? or Vermouth?  Too much vermouth and you take your clothes off, versmut?  Bad joke.

a tall green bottle painted on the wall with the word vermut written vertically. Beside the bottle is painted a naked woman draped in red with breasts showing.

street art picture of a triangular shaped face looking upwards, open eyes and partially open mouth, behind the face is streaks of blue, yellow and red.

That’s the end of our little tour.
Find a sunny spot and pull up a chair and rest your feet for a few minutes.

chairs and a set of drawers outside a store full of antiques and stuff, the door is open and you can see into the store where there are two men shopping.

Tomorrow there will be puddles to go splashing through…
but that’s a story for another day.

afternoon in the park when the snow and ice begin to melt. Lots of water, big puddles, a few people walking dogs on the path trying to stay dry, reflections of them and many trees in the puddles.