Inuit art: Wall Hanging / Tapestry
Inuit Artist: Irene Avaalaaqiaq
Size: 53" high, 40" wide
Community: Baker Lake, NWT
Stone: Textile / Tapestry
Masterpiece Soft Art! Museum quality Piece!
We tend to forget that in amongst the vast numbers of Inuit prints and Inuit carvings, lives a large group of Art pieces that I will refer to as Craft Material.
This term refers to Inuit crafts created with ceramic, glass, jewellery, textile and wood.
Textile work includes tapestries, Inuit dolls, and clothing.
Just like wall tapestries were coveted during medieval times and into the 1800s, soft Inuit textile art has a rich history.
This particular tapestry is thick (1/2") soft, and made of the most luxurious felt (wool).
The embroidery is impeccable. The colours are rich and complimentary to the figures.
Irene Avaalaaqiaq was one of the Master Inuit artists of textile art.
The picture of the tapestry cannot translate the sensuality of this piece. You want to keep running your hand over the felt. Also, in person, you can appreciate the 3 dimensional character of the piece.
Irene was a pillar of her local Inuit community. Her fame stretched around the world. She was commissioned to craft a tapestry for Canada House in London, England.
Her art is also in the WAG and in Canada's National Art Museum, Ottawa, On . She has many publications. Judith Nasby has written a book called "Myth and Reality" which tells Irene's story and honours her long artistic career. Ireneand has been in hundreds of exhibitions. In 1999, she was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law by the University of Guelph.
Nasby's book describes Avaalaaqiaq's wall hangings, her inspirations and the stories behind her imagery. Here is a brief biography about Irene in wikipedia.
This tapestry is currently gracing a wall in our gallery. It comes with a fabric pocket that accepts a rod for hanging. I will include the beautiful decorative rod.
This tapestry has been created by Canada's top Inuit textile artist.
It has a peaceful and serene spirit. Irene would be so happy to know that it has an appreciative home.
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