Inuk artist joins Wintec to exhibit indigenous contemporary art
Wintec’s Ramp Gallery has a new show, Traverse, an exhibition of contemporary works by Inuk artist and academic, Mark Igloliorte (Canada). Igloliorte is also in residence, making new work in the gallery until 28 June.
As an indigenous artist of Inuk heritage, Igloliorte’s works traverse the line between traditional ideas and the contemporary world – often looking at language, imagery and materials that have become part of the vernacular but that speak to traditional customs in a unique and contemporary way.
With a playful touch, Igloliorte explores important ideas through the mediums of video, painting and sculpture. Working in these ways allows him to explore the colonisation of objects and language by re-making and re-telling.
“We are excited to have Mark Igloliorte in New Zealand for an extended period, where he will be in residence here and make a new work in Ramp Gallery – a large scale painting titled Kayak Is Inuktituk for Seal Hunting Boat,” says Ramp Gallery Curator, Wendy Richdale.
“This new work highlights the ubiquitous use of the word ‘kayak’. The adoption of this Inuktituk word by English speakers has watered down its original meaning and use. Rather than a recreational boat, a kayak is traditionally a hunting vessel, primarily used to hunt seals.”
An Igloliorte work for the exhibition, Sealskin Neck Pillow, playfully acknowledges the banality of international air travel (by adopting this contemporary form) while speaking to the colonisation of materials through regulation.
Seal skin has become restricted from international exchange which has had detrimental effects on Inuit communities, contributing to and compounding social issues.
“Exploring function and form, meaning and translation, indigeneity and colonisation, Traverse is an important and timely exhibition,” says Richdale.
The exhibition is presented during NAISA 2019 (Native American and Indigenous Studies Association) Conference. This is the first year the NAISA conference will be held outside the United States and Canada, it is at the University of Waikato from 26 - 29 June, 2019.
Traverse is also part of the Horahia Matariki 2019 series of events at Wintec, a colourful and engaging cultural experience with a stellar line-up of 20 events to celebrate the Māori New Year from 7 June to 28 July. Matariki events at Wintec focus on themes of wellbeing, explore new thinking and celebrate art, design and culture.
Traverse Exhibition Opening, Wednesday 26 June, 6.00pm – 8.00pm, Ramp Gallery, 111 Collingwood Street, Hamilton.
This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.