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Unconventional Inuit Art Exhibition Showcases Sealskin Stilettos and Silver Snow Goggles

Unconventional Inuit Art Exhibition Showcases  Sealskin Stilettos and Silver Snow Goggles

Exhibition previously staged at the Canadian Embassy in London a coup for Winnipeg’s Urban Shaman gallery

WINNIPEG — An exhibition of contemporary Inuit art like few Canadians have ever seen opens September 8 (8 – 11 p.m.) at Urban Shaman art gallery (203-290 McDermot Ave.) in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.

Ruby red stilettos and scanty bra and panties, both fashioned from sealskin, are among the non-traditional works showcased in Floe Edge: Contemporary Art and Collaborations from Nunavut.

The eye-catching fashion pieces were created by Iqaluit artists Nicole Camphaug and Nala Peter, respectively, two of the 19 artists whose works are featured.

Another showstopper is the film installation Gauge which captures, through time-lapse video, the metamorphosis of giant walls of sea ice painted by a team of artists using natural food colouring and burnt cow bone. Viewers experience the ice walls rise and fall with the ocean tides before the frozen mass and painted images disappear into the ocean.

Two Cape Dorset artists will be in attendance at the opening — carver Jamasie Pitseolak and printmaker Quavavau Manumie. The exhibition continues through October 14. Urban Shaman gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from noon until 5 p.m.

The exhibition title, Floe Edge, stems from the name for the constantly changing line where frozen sea ice and open Arctic Ocean waters meet.  Each spring, sea and land mammals, birds and people congregate within this dynamic ecosystem where floes of sea ice move with the tide and melt with changing temperatures.

Floe Edge is a metaphor for the way in which a new and adventurous generation of Inuit artists work — constantly developing and re-forming as they move fluidly among various artistic disciplines and between artistic pursuits and everyday life.

The show, curated by Iqaluit-based Kathleen Nicholls of the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association (NACA), premiered last year at Ottawa-area gallery AXENÉO7 and then crossed the ocean to the United Kingdom for exhibition at the Canadian High Commission (Canada House) in London.

The Floe Edge collection also includes sterling silver snow goggles, a metre-tall, doll-like sculpture of a traditionally-clad Inuit hunter, jewellery, landscape photographs and drawings, including works by two of Nunavut’s most well-known artists Shuvinai Ashoona and Tim Pitsiulak.

Floe Edge is presented by Urban Shaman Contemporary Aboriginal Art, and organized by AXENÉO7 andNunavut Arts & Crafts Association . The exhibition is funded by the Government of Nunavut, the Canada Council for the Arts and University of Manitoba School of Fine Arts.

*** Nuit Blanche performance Sept. 30 – Throat-boxer Nelson Tagoona, of Baker Lake, will perform for Nuit Blanche on the roof of Deer + Almond (across the street from Urban Shaman) as an extension of The Floe Edgeexhibition.  Tagoona is a pioneer of the hybrid musical genre that combines Inuit throat singing with beatboxing – a vocal style that simulates percussion sounds. (Additional information will be provided to the media closer to the date, but media can advise if they would like to schedule an interview with him on Sept. 29 or 30.)

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Laurie Nealin, Publicist
lauriene [at]
Cell: 204-291-4433

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