Born in 1961, Cape Dorset, Canada
Shuvinai Ashoona, an Inuit artist, is the daughter of Kiuga Ashoona and Sorosilutu, both well known for their contributions to the arts in Cape Dorset. Shuvinai began drawing in 1995, working with pen and ink, colored pencils and markers to capture her the physical and mythical landscape around the community of Cape Dorset. Ms. Ashoona’s work was first included in the Cape Dorset annual print collection in 1997 and since then, she has become a committed and prolific graphic artist, working daily in the Kinngait Studios in Cape Dorset. Her work has attracted the attention of several notable private galleries, as well as public institutions. She was featured along with her aunt, Napachie Pootoogook, and her grandmother, the late Pitseolak Ashoona, in the McMichael Canadian Collection’s 1999 exhibition entitled Three Women, Three Generations. More recently she was profiled in the Spring 2008 issue of Border Crossings. In an unusual contemporary collaboration, Shuvinai recently worked with Saskatchewan-based artist, John Noestheden on a “skymural” that was exhibited at the 2008 Basel Art Fair and was shown again at Toronto’s 2008 Nuit Blanche. Shuvinai is also the subject of the documentary art film, Ghost Noise, produced and directed by Marcia Connolly.
Her recent work is very personal and often meticulously detailed. About her work, she states, “When I start to draw I remember things that I have experienced or seen. Although I do not attempt to recreate these images exactly, that is what might happen. Sometimes they come out more realistically but sometimes they turn out completely different. That is what happens when I draw.” In this annual collection of 2011, Shuvinai returns to the symbol of the egg in Sea Shell from 2011, in which the egg shell becomes the umiak, fragile yet functional, transporting a group of happy looking people to their next destination – another world perhaps. Shuvinai’s worlds are multiple and overlapping, captured literally in World View from 2011.
For more information, go to http://www.dorsetfinearts.com