From December 16 2005 to January 14 2006
LET IT SNOW
December 16, 2005 to January 14, 2006
Opening December 16, 7pm
Artists : Caroline Iqaluk, Annie Kavik, Sarah Qavik, Mina Eyaituk, Sarah Kudluarok, Maggie Kattuk, Betsey Meeko, Mary Kavik Jr, Mary Kavik Sr, Lottie Arragutainaq, Hannah Kavik
Curator : Gyu Oh
Sanikiluaq is a small Arctic community on the Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay. It has a population of 830. The first snow comes as early as September and stays as late as June, leaving the community covered in snow 7 to 8 months of the year. Perhaps the importance, and abundance of snow is why in Inuktitut (the language of the Inuit) there is an abundance of words to describe the different kinds of snow.
This year, 11 ladies of the Najuqsivik Sewing Circle in Sanikiluaq gathered and created snowflakes out of Polar Bear (Nanook in Inuktitut) fur. They named these 'Nanook Flakes'.
Hunting and Trapping has been the livelihood of Inuit for thousands years. The meat of the animals they hunted was their food, and the skin of the animals their clothes and bedding. In the contact period Inuit traded the furs for their daily necessities. In contemporary society, hunting is not as crucial as it was because southern food is easily available even in small communities like Sanikiluaq. However, the price of food is high, as it has to be flown from the south. Most Inuit still have a taste and need for fresh, local 'country food'. So the hunting tradition still carries on. In Sanikiluaq, 25 polar bears can be hunted in a year, for their meat and their hides. Nothing is wasted from the hunt. The fur around the neck and shoulders of some polar bears is worn due to their repeated trips through the ice. This makes the hide unattractive and useless for rug mounts. The women of Najuqsivik in Sanikiluaq save these unwanted hides and make them into 'Nanook flakes'. The ladies of the sewing circle would like to share an arctic experience through these 'Nanook Flakes'.
For the La Centrale's special project LA VITRINE DES FÊTES we will present an installation of a roomful of 'Nanook Flakes'.
The installation consists of 250 'Nanook Flakes'; Nanook Flakes have a beautiful sheen and reflect the light subtly like snow flakes when they are lit, creating a magnified snowy scene. The installation also includes a video with sound: a short looped video will be played on the 4 inch LCD screen, placed at the front window. The video will be composed of still images of: ladies of Najuqsivik sewing group and their community, Sanikiluaq.