Courtesy Shuvinai Ashoona
Shuvinai Ashoona (born 1961, Kinngait, Nunavut, Canada) lives and works in Kinngait. Solo exhibitions of Ashoona’s work have been organized at Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum, Iqaluit (2013); MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina (2012); Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa (2009); and Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton (2006). Her work has been shown in group exhibitions at venues including the Esker Foundation, Calgary (2017); Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (2017); Mercer Union, Toronto (2016), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2014) and SITE Santa Fe (2014). Most recently, Shuvinai Ashoona received the 2018 Gershon Iskowitz Prize.
While Shuvinai is known to depict everyday scenes, as in Shuvinai’s World—At Home, 2012, she also found a way to channel visions and an altered sense of reality into her work. Rock Landscape, 1998, with its detailed rendering of a strangely distorted landscape, provides an early example. Drawings such as Composition (Two Men and a Spider), 2007–8, and Titanic, Nascopie, and Noah’s Ark, 2008, are but two of many drawings by the artist from the 2000s onward that show her melding everyday and fantastical elements in her work: the former includes human figures with hybrid features and the latter shows a winged polar bear and distortions of size, the giant squid many times bigger than the fishing boats it pursues.