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Stones, Bones and Stitches: Storytelling Through Inuit Art
     

Stones, Bones and Stitches: Storytelling Through Inuit Art

by Shawna White, Shelley Falconer
 
Did you know?
-Cape Dorset boasts the largest number of artists per capita in Canada (22.7 percent — almost one-quarter of the labor force and thirty times the national average!)
-The word Eskimo is a derogatory term meaning “eaters of raw flesh”
-Some Inuit artists quarry stone for their sculptures in the winter, but have to wait until the

Overview

Did you know?
-Cape Dorset boasts the largest number of artists per capita in Canada (22.7 percent — almost one-quarter of the labor force and thirty times the national average!)
-The word Eskimo is a derogatory term meaning “eaters of raw flesh”
-Some Inuit artists quarry stone for their sculptures in the winter, but have to wait until the summer to bring it back to their workshops
-An igloo uses the same design principles found in the great cathedrals of Europe
-According to legends, the stone figures, called Inukshuks, protect travelers and point them to the safest pathway
-The Inuit have been carving for over 4,000 years

Stones, Bones and Stitches is a fascinating and beautiful introduction to the art of the North. Focusing on several important works from the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, curators Shelley Falconer and Shawna White take you on an impressive journey through the artistic landscape. The evolving character of the North is explored through the lens of some of Canada’s most significant Inuit artists, past and present.

Included are eight different works from sculpture to prints, each highlighted with introductions to the artists, the materials they used, geography, legends, and stories. Photographs together with intriguing facts give the reader insight into the artists’ lives, communities, and working conditions along with brief histories of the region.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
The unique title and creative front cover could lead readers to believe that this book is filled with Inuit childhood folktales, but it is not. Instead, expect to find photos of various works of artistic stone stenciling, bone sculpting (including whalebone), and stitching of intricate wall hangings. Each piece of artwork comes with a biography of the artist and details about how they produce their works. The artists include Oviloo Tunnillie, Joe Talirunili, Jessie Oonark, Lukta Qiatsuk, David Rubin Piqtoukun, and Kenojuak Ashevak. All live in the Northern Canada where much of the Inuit tribes still exist. Some of the works include a short story explaining the original of the work. For example, David Rubin Piqtoukun’s sculpture “Shaman Returning from The Moon” tells the story of a powerful shaman who travels to the moon and gains the respect of his entire tribe. By learning about the personal experiences of each artist, the reader will gain more knowledge about the lifestyle and assorted tools used to produce these pieces of art. Authors Shelley Falconer and Shawna White bring together a fascinating group of Inuit artists to give young aspiring artists tips on exploring their culture and preserving it for future generations. I find the use of whalebones in sculptors especially interesting, but was disappointed when the short stories lacked more depth and found myself thirsting for more history, too. This book belongs in any library or museum where beautiful artwork is displayed and appreciated for its rich heritage. Reviewer: Julia Beiker

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780887768545
Publisher:
Tundra
Publication date:
10/09/2007
Series:
A Lord Museum Book Series
Pages:
40
Product dimensions:
8.13(w) x 10.27(h) x 0.41(d)
Age Range:
3 Months to 18 Years

Meet the Author

Shelley Falconer is director of exhibitions and programs and senior curator for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and a member of the University of Toronto’s adjunct faculty in Museum Studies. Falconer has contributed, as a writer and editor, to many exhibitions and new media publications, and her recent projects include the extensive reinstallation of the McMichael’s permanent collection galleries.

Shawna White is an assistant curator for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. She has worked as a curator, educator, arts administrator, consultant, and Canadian art specialist. White’s recent curatorial projects include the exhibition and publication for The Arctic Image as well as the extensive reinstallation of the McMichael’s permanent collection galleries.

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