THE REBEL – Jutai Toonoo

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Artists often say they create art for themselves and don’t care what other people think. But when Eye on the Arctic’s Eilís Quinn tracked down Jutai Toonoo working in Nunavut’s Kinngait Studios in 2010, we got the sense that he really, really meant it.

Toonoo used human imagery to explore identity issues and cultural conflict in the North for much of his career.

But at the time of his sudden death in 2015, he’d begun exploring more personal themes in his work, like cancer, a disease that had begun to ravage friends and family members.

Many experts say he produced some of the most provocative contemporary artwork to ever come out of the Arctic.

But as for all the rest, there’s no better person to tell you about it than Jutai Toonoo himself.

 

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Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn, Eye on the Arctic

Eilís Quinn is a journalist and manages Radio Canada International’s Eye on the Arctic circumpolar news project. At Eye on the Arctic, Eilís has produced documentary and multimedia series about climate change and the issues facing Indigenous peoples in the circumpolar world. Her documentary Bridging the Divide was a finalist at the 2012 Webby Awards. Eilís began reporting on the North in 2001. Her work as a reporter in Canada and the United States, and as TV host for the Discovery/BBC Worldwide series "Best in China" has taken her to some of the world’s coldest regions including the Tibetan mountains, Greenland and Alaska; along with the Arctic regions of Canada, Russia, Norway and Iceland.

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