Story by Margo Pfeiff
PANGNIRTUNG, NUNAVUT — For the first time since 2008, the Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio at the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Crafts in will be releasing a new collection. The 10 works will be woven renditions of drawings by Inuit artists including a rare guest collaboration with iconic Cape Dorset printmaker Kenojuak Ashevak.
Started in 1970, the studio is one of only four in the world that employs weavers to interpret artists’ work into tapestry; the others are in Scotland, England and Australia. The studio has produced thousands of limited-edition and specially commissioned tapestries that now adorn the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilization as well as embassies, universities and government buildings like the Nunavut Legislative Assembly. One tapestry, “Achieving a Dream,” was created for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games and now hangs in the Richmond Oval, home to the speedskating competitions, in British Columbia.
The 2011 collection will showcase traditional and contemporary aspects of Inuit life and will tour throughout 2011 and 2012.
The mid-November show is being held at Toronto’s Guild Shop until Dec. 24. Then the exhibition travels to Montréal’s Canadian Guild of Crafts from March 29 until May 12, where the new pieces will join the best from the past as part an exhibiton celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Guild’s first exhibition of Pangnirtung tapestries from March 1972.
The exhibit then moves on to the US and other Canadian venues before heading to Europe.