A new exhibition from Ningiukulu Teevee, one of the standout artists from northern Canada, opened in London, England on Thursday, the latest show from a Kinngait artist on the international stage.
“My work comes from stories that I have heard, that are unwritten, only spoken, and kept by few,” Teevee said in a statement.
Ningiukulu Teevee: Stories from Kinngait features 26 artworks from the artist and was curated by Dr. Darlene Coward Wight.
Teevee is from the community of Kinngait in the Arctic territory of Nunavut and she’s known for her work depicting Inuit legends as well as contemporary life in the North.
In 2023, she received the Inuit Art Foundation Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award, a biennial prize established to recognize and boost the visibility of mid-career Inuk artists.
“The first storyteller that caught my attention was Mialia Jaw,” Teevee said.
“She came to a classroom to tell her stories. Listening to her fed my imagination. It has led me to win the Inuit Art Foundation Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award and a trip to places such as London, England—an exciting opportunity to learn, and possibly to teach those who want to learn.”
Increasing international recognition for Arctic art
Teevee’s exhibition is the latest example of the increasing international spotlight on Arctic artists.
Fellow Kinngait artist Shuvinai Ashoona also has an exhibition on in London at The Perimeter, titled When I Draw.
In recent years, artwork by Kinngait artists has been exhibited in places ranging from Warsaw and Paris to Seoul, New York, and Los Angeles, among other cities. Arctic artists are also garnering increased media attention including in publications like The Art Newspaper.
“For me, it’s not surprising, but it’s incredible gratifying,” William Huffman, marketing manager at the West Baffin Cooperative told Eye on the Arctic.
“This work resonates because it looks to history—inspired by the past, the challenges of living on the land, the unique landscape—but there’s also this uber-contemporaneity.”
Kinngait, an Inuit community formerly known as Cape Dorset, became famous for its annual print collection first launched in 1959.
Kinngait “exploring the next stage”
Upcoming international exhibitions include a collaboration between Kinngait and Korean artists for a second Canada Pavilion at Gwangju Biennale in Korea and an exhibition featuring both historical and contemporary works centered around the theme of ‘seal’ co-curated by Rhode Island School of Design and West Baffin Cooperative.
Huffman said the art and artists of Kinngait continue to evolve and he’s confident their work will continue to resonate globally.
“The art of Kinngait has this very specific way of examining the history of artmaking in the Arctic, but also exploring what the next stage of that expression looks like in the world.”
Ningiukulu Teevee: Stories from Kinngait runs in London until June 1 at Canada House.
And expanded version of the show is planned at the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq in fall 2025 in the Canadian province of Manitoba.
Comments, tips or story ideas? Contact Eilís at eilis.quinn(at)cbc.ca
Related stories from around the North:
Canada : Calgary-based Inuvialuk artist Kablusiak named winner of $100,000 Sobey Art Award, The Canadian Press
Finland : Finnish Lapland plans incentives to attract filmmakers to region, Eye on the Arctic
Greenland: New exhibition features 2000 years of Inuit art from Canada, Alaska, Greenland & Siberia, Eye on the Arctic
Norway: Certification marks help both Sami artisans and consumers, says council, Eye on the Arctic
Sweden: Arctic city of Kiruna competing for the European Capital of Culture title, Radio Sweden
United States: How Inuit culture helped unlock power of classical score for Inupiaq violinist, Eye on the Arctic