Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq showcases works by multimedia artist Tarralik Duffy

Qaumajuq, the Inuit art centre at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. (Lindsay Reid/Courtesy Winnipeg Art Gallery)

Tarralik Duffy, the artist that won last year’s Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award, has a new exhibition at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG)-Qaumajuq, were she was also artist-in-residence. 

“The first of many Inuit artists-in-residence at WAG-Qaumajuq to come, Tarralik’s mindset and attentive observation of the world and its movements has inspired us,” Stephen Borys, director & CEO of WAG-Qaumajuq said in a statement. 

Duffy, an Inuk multimedia artist and jewellery maker from Salliq (Coral Harbour), Nunavut, now lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Her work is known for both its humour and pop culture references.

Klik (2019), archival pigment print by by Tarralik Duffy. “I love plays on words and drawing what’s around me,” Duffy told Eye on the Arctic in a 2021 interview about incorporating pop culture elements into her work. “You can’t be in Nunavut without seeing things like pop cans, they’re everywhere. There’s a particular way that things are stacked on the shelves in Nunavut and that’s in such sharp contrast to the land around us. So those things are very much in mind and when the ideas come in my head, I have to follow.” (Courtesy Tarralik Duffy)

The museum website describes the exhibition, titled Gasoline Rainbows, as showcasing the whimsy the artist is known for.

“Over the last year or so, Duffy has delved further into her work with pop art, taking recognizable objects and transforming them through her own unique lens. We can expect a lot of bright colours and fun interpretations,” it said. 

“The artwork in Gasoline Rainbows captures the creative range and cultural influence that made Tarralik the winner of the 2021 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award,” Marie-Anne Redhead, Assistant Curator of Indigenous & Contemporary Art, WAG-Qaumajuq, said.

Recognizing mid-career artists

Kenojuak Ashevak (1927-2013) is a renowned Inuk artist who lived most of her life in Cape Dorset in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut. Her iconic images depicting Arctic animals and wildlife garnered her a worldwide reputation.

The biennial Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award was established in 2014 as a way to recognize mid-career Inuk artists. 

Each year a long list of 10 artists is released, with each receiving $2,500. Each of the five artists that make the short list receive $5,000.

The winner wins $20,000 as well as a solo exhibition and residency at WAG-Qaumajuq. 

The 2023 winner of the award will be announced on Friday.

Comments, tips or story ideas? Contact Eilís at eilis.quinn(at) 

Related stories from around the North: 

Canada: Toronto gallery next stop for travelling Kenojuak Ashevak exhibition, Eye on the Arctic

Greenland: New exhibition features 2000 years of Inuit art from Canada, Alaska, Greenland & Siberia, Eye on the Arctic 

United States: Art exhibit in Alaska connects bird research to backyards, Alaska Public Media

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