inuit prints are portals to the past - polyester film
ULUKHAKTOK, N. W. T.
-A little girl on land, stuck with her parents on the last days of the camping season, and a plane suddenly dropped in the cold of the Arctic autumn.
Susie Malgokak is only 7 years old, and white people in the sky on September forced her parents to hand her over to her on the day of 1961, who did not understand English.
They did not say why, nor did they say where they took the girl and her cousin, as they boarded the plane and left Minto Bay, 80 km from the west coast of Victoria Island.
"They said nothing.
They took us away and left.
"It's terrible," Malgokak said . " She tore two paper towels off the toilet paper in her bedroom studio.
"I remember being alone, being abused and going through all this crap.
"She laughed in tears, but half a century later she was dragged to the pain of an Anglican boarding school in Inuit Vic.
"I'm still angry about it," she said . "
"Speaking my language, my ears were pulled.
I was told to stand in the corner until I was completely tired of standing or hit my palm with a ruler.
"When she turned around again to talk about the fingerprints on the bed, Malgokak was in a better place.
These images are the gateway to her attempts to retrieve the stolen childhood past.
One of them was two children in coats lying on the sea ice and looking at the seal hole: Two Worlds bound by curiosity.
Another dark font in green and black shows a child skiing on seal skin, a friend and a running snow sled dog rolling over the icy slopes.
The joy of childhood jumped from the print on paper.
An artist who makes her happy may seem like a simple freedom, but it's not easy for Malgokak and other Inuit print makers.
For decades, Inuit people in several communities in Canada's Arctic region have belonged to cooperatives, selling their works to southern galleries and buyers.
They direct graphic artists from a distance, and even pick on the marketable nature of one color over the other.
It's more like an art factory than an artist colony.
Before the cooperation in stock.
The Op art store was closed on 2000 and she and about a dozen other print manufacturers had to send proof of each piece to the South for approval.
"It will come back and describe how to make it better, what needs to be darker, or these types of instructions," she said . ".
"One time, an artist mentioned that we should do our own work, our feelings.
"If you paint for someone, it will be" better "outside," she added ". " She glanced at the vast world outside the window.
"But it's not really from here," she patted her heart.
As long as the artists ask for love from buyers, they have to endure dilettantes.
However, the conflict between the creative and market forces of the Inuit printing factory has exceeded the age --
The old troubles of selling out.
In remote Arctic small villages, arts and crafts are one of the few ways to make a living, and the fate of Inuit art may be an issue of economic and cultural survival.
According to Statistics Canada, the unemployment rate in ulucatuk is about 400.
Graphic art, sculptures and costumes made from seals, Arctic foxes, museums and other wildlife fur are important sources of income.
"Considering that 20 to 30 of the Canadian Inuit population create art, it's crazy if you think about it," says Ingo Hessel, author of Inuit art.
"The idea of digging so many artistic talents in such a small crowd is a miracle.
"The seeds of Inuit graphic art were mainly planted by early white tourists, including early seafarers, missionaries and government officials.
Hessel said that they not only teach the skills of engraving and printing of Inuit people, but also provide the necessary materials. Hessel is an artist who has worked in the Indian and Northern Affairs departments.
Southern art consultants and gallery owners have helped create and expand the market for Inuit art, and in the most successful cases they have upgraded their creations from travel trinkets to fine arts.
"If you take all the structures away, the art of the Inuit will not exist," Hessel said . ".
"This will not in any case deprive Inuit artists of their talent and their extraordinary achievements," he added . ".
"But this extraordinary talent will not be tapped out if it is not a series of happy accidents.
"One was the arrival of Father Henry tadi in 1949 to attend the Catholic mission of hamlet of Holman at the time, the trade station of Hudson Bay Company on the west coast of Victoria Island.
The next year, he was responsible for teaching local Inuit how to make prints using templates cut from seal skins and toothbrushes dipped in ink.
In 1961, the pastor set up the Holman Eskimo Co-op to produce and sell prints using different techniques, including stone cutting, wood blocks, and later mylar, a polyester film.
Under the coop system, once an original work is approved, it is usually passed on to other artists for printing.
A series of limited edition prints may bring thousands of dollars in revenue to the southern gallery, but margokak says she used to get $25 for the original painting and three testimonials as "artists"
"We sold the evidence to make money for ourselves," she added . ".
The new co-operation manager Mohammed Zidane is working to restore the legacy of father Tadi.
Zidane, a Moroccan immigrant who came to Canada in 1977, spent ten years helping Inuit artists make a living in Rankin Bay in the north pole of eastern Canada.
Margokak is currently a free agent.
She draws and prints when and how the spirit moves her.
One of her works is on display at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, known as "two friends of fishing ".
"It shows the two kids kneeling next to the ice cave, with a huge fish hanging on a line for the kids in the background looming in their mind.
This is a memory of Malgokak's fishing trip with her friends, about the visceral connection with wild animals and the loved ones who share it when she feels closer to land.
"We often go out fishing in spring and autumn," she said . ".
"We will look at the fish and sit down and drink tea.
We will catch up.
I think fishing on land is mainly for family and friends.
"At that moment, the pain disappeared and the artist's face was filled with a bright smile.