The Power Plant

Mapping Worlds

Shuvinai Ashoona

Past Exhibition

Jan 26 – May 12 2019

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Shuvinai Ashoona, Creatures, 2015, ink and coloured pencil on paper, 96.5 x 127 cm, collection of Suzanne Lamarre.

GUEST CURATOR: NANCY CAMPBELL
ASSISTANT CURATOR: JUSTINE KOHLEAL, RBC CURATORIAL FELLOW

The exhibition Mapping Worlds features pencil crayon and ink drawings produced by the artist over the past two decades. Many of Shuvinai Ashoona’s early drawings depict scenes of Kinngait (formerly known as Cape Dorset), Nunavut, continuing an artistic tradition begun by the Ashoona family, including her grandmother Pitseolak Ashoona (1904 - 1983) and cousin Annie Pootoogook (1969 – 2016). Living in Kinngait on the southern tip of Baffin Island, Shuvinai is part of Canada’s Inuit culture. She produces her work at Kinngait Studios, the art arm of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. Incorporated in 1959, the Studio has the strongest and longest tradition of any community–run, art making co-operative in the Arctic. Due to the stability and longevity of the co-op’s management, four generations of Inuit artists have developed and sold their art around the world. Shuvinai is best known for her highly personal and imaginative iconography, with imagery ranging from closely observed naturalistic scenes of her Arctic home, to monstrous and fantastical visions.

Shuvinai’s work is unique among the artists working in Kinngait. Her drawings imagine the past and present fused into a prophetic future such as human-animal hybrid creatures, women birthing worlds, and mystical or other-worldly landscapes clearly inspired by the terrain of her northern home. Opposite to dystopic, Shuvinai’s brightly coloured drawings teem with life; and while her community occasionally clashes with the artist’s creatures, as seen in the work Untitled (Attack of the Tentacle Monsters), 2015 they often peacefully co-exist, as evidenced in Composition (People, Animals and the World Holding Hands), 2007 – 2008. Unlike many settler visions of the future that seem to dwell on clashes between humans and nature, humans and other humans, or humans and otherworldly ‘invaders’, Shuvinai’s earthly and extraterrestrial worlds exist within a kinder intergalactic future.

Today, television shows like The Walking Dead (2010– present) stimulate our fears of the unknown, the monstrous and the ‘Other’ in a manner that risks increasing our xenophobia and provoking violence. Shuvinai’s work speaks to these current anxieties, yet her artwork does not depict humans in opposition to the otherworldly. By appropriating images from her fascination with horror films, comic books and television, Shuvinai merges different imagery with everyday narratives to redraw the map of the boundaries between reality and fantasy, past and future.

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.

26 JANUARY – 12 MAY 2019

CIRCLE OF SUPPORTERS' EXHIBITION PREVIEW

Friday, 25 January 2019, 6 - 8 PM

PUBLIC OPENING PARTY

Friday, 25 January 2019, 8 - 11 PM


PRESENTING SPONSOR
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MAJOR DONORS

Anonymous
The Schreiber Sisters

SUPPORT SPONSOR

The Drake

SUPPORT DONORS

Goring Family Foundation Robert B. Bell and Diane Walker Susanne & Franz Erhard Walther

### DONORS

Christopher Bredt & Jamie Cameron

Nancy Jain

John & Joyce Price


SUPPORTED BY

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LEARN MORE

Watch Shuvinai Ashoona's Interview with The Power Plant


Watch In Conversation: Nancy Campbell, Annette Mangaard and Josh Heuman \ 23 February 2019

Exhibition Touring Dates

Missed the exhibition here at The Power Plant? Visit Mapping Worlds at an institution near you.


Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown:
8 June–15 September 2019 Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Montreal: 31 October 2019–18 January 2020

Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver:

22 February–30 August 2020

Yukon Centre for the Arts, Whitehorse: 12 September–21 November 2020

Glenbow Museum, Calgary:

6 February–29 August 2021

Additional support for the tour provided by:

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Winter 2019 Program Guide

Click here to read more about The Power Plant's Winter 2019 exhibitions and programming for the season!


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Shuvinai Ashoona, Mapping Worlds, 2019. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2019. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Shuvinai Ashoona, Mapping Worlds, 2019. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2019. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Shuvinai Ashoona, Mapping Worlds, 2019. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2019. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Shuvinai Ashoona, Mapping Worlds, 2019. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2019. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Shuvinai Ashoona, Mapping Worlds, 2019. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2019. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Shuvinai Ashoona, Mapping Worlds, 2019. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2019. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Shuvinai Ashoona, Mapping Worlds, 2019. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2019. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

About the Artist


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.

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