Until August 21, 2022
Exhibition by Niap
Although one might imagine that the traditional Inuit lifestyle in the Far North consisted solely of surviving a harsh, forbidding environment, the Inuit created refined objects and clothing that illustrate a highly developed aesthetic sense. Using only simple tools like scrapers, needles, thimbles and ulus, the indispensable all-purpose “women’s knives,” women would construct highly practical objects that artist Niap also considers exquisitely beautiful.
She is struck by the ingenuity and creativity of her ancestors. How, with so few tools and materials, did they manage to painstakingly decorate the long-lasting objects and clothing they made while simultaneously carrying out their many tasks as keepers of the family group’s well-being?
In the exhibition Piqutiapiit, Niap presents a piece that pays tribute to the work of Inuit women of the past. She acknowledges and celebrates Inuit women’s expertise and artistic talent by revealing the finesse and refinement of the traditional objects that she found in the McCord Museum’s collections and how they reflect and relate to women’s lives.
Currently based in Montreal, Niap (b. 1986) is a multidisciplinary artist from Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, whose practice includes drawing, painting and sculpture. Taking an approach that fuses traditional Inuit art with modernism, she uses artistic strategies specific to contemporary art to address themes related to her ancestral heritage. Her goal is to ensure the continuity of Inuit art as well as its renewal.
This exhibition is produced in collaboration with the Conseil des arts de Montréal. The Artist-in-Residence program invites artists to take a critical and conceptual look at the McCord Museum’s collection, reflecting on the connections between their artistic practice and the objects and stories they uncover during their research.
As part of this research-oriented creative activity, artists are encouraged to communicate their own interpretation of the collection and propose new ways of interpreting history in its many forms.
Learn more about the creative process of Inuk artist Niap.
Not to be missed!
What people are saying about it
« With its staggeringly intricate design and rich range of colours, Piqutiapiit the work perfectly balances and elucidates the archival artifacts and photographs placed around it. » Ian McGillis, The Gazette
« Niap’s collection is a beautiful tribute to the artist’s Inuit identity told through entrancing craftsmanship. » Charlotte Hayes, The McGill Tribune
« Piqutiapiit is a meditation on the skill of Inuit women. » Savannah Stewart, Toronto Star
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