ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᔪᒻᒪᕆᒃ Double Vision: Jessie Oonark, Janet Kigusiuq, Victoria Mamnguqsualuk
Artists: ᔭᓯ ᐆᓇᖅ (Jessie Oonark), ᔮᓂᑦ ᑭᒍᓯᐅᖅ (Janet Kigusiuq), ᕕᒃᑐᕆᔭ ᒪᒻᖑᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ (Victoria Mamnguqsualuk)
Curator: Candice Hopkins
Circulated by the Textile Museum of Canada with the support of the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage
Project Partner: Toronto Biennial of Art
Project Advisor: Krista Ulujuk Zawadski
ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᔪᒻᒪᕆᒃ Double Vision profiles three groundbreaking artists from Nunavut—Jessie Oonark (1906-1985) and her daughters, Janet Kigusiuq (1926-2005) and Victoria Mamnguqsualuk (1930-2016). It looks at the matriarchal practice of Oonark and her daughters, and how women artists in Qamani`tuaq mentored one another in producing unique aesthetic and conceptual lineages.
The exhibition brings together artworks from public and private collections from across Canada and features remarkable examples of textile works alongside seldom-seen drawings by Oonark and Mamnguqsualuk and paper collages by Kigusiuq. In particular, the exhibition shines a light on a highly distinctive art form called nivinngajuliaat, or wall hangings, which developed out of government-sponsored craft programs in the Arctic, beginning with the sewing program in Qamani`tuaq (Baker Lake) established in the 1960s. Conceived by the seamstresses of the community, these brightly stitched textiles feature graphic appliquéd images, often enhanced with embroidery, centering on the dynamics and interrelationships between people and animals.
About the Curator
Candice Hopkins (she/her) was the Senior Curator of the Toronto Biennial of Art (2019 and 2022) and oversees new art commissions, exhibitions and publications. Most recently co-curator for Soundings: An Exhibition in Five Parts, SITE Santa Fe’s 2018 Sitelines Biennial and the Canadian Pavilion for the 2019 Venice Biennial, Hopkins has also developed major international exhibitions, including Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art (2013) at the National Gallery of Canada (ON), Close Encounters: The Next 500 Years (2011) at Plug In Institution of Contemporary Art (MB), and dOCUMENTA 14 in Kassel, Germany and Athens, Greece (2017). She has been published widely, lectures internationally and is the recipient of the 2015 Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art. Originally from Whitehorse, Yukon, Hopkins is a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation.
1. Installation view of ᑕᑯᒃᓴᐅᔪᒻᒪᕆᒃ Double Vision: Jessie Oonark, Janet Kigusiuq, and Victoria Mamnguqsualuk at the Textile Museum of Canada (2022). Photo by Darren Rigo.
2. ᕕᒃᑐᕆᔭ ᒪᒻᖑᖅᓱᐊᓗᒃ Victoria Mamnguqsualuk (1930–2016), Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), Woman with Too Many Children (detail), 2001; wool felt appliqué and cotton embroidery thread on wool duffel. Collection of Christopher Bredt and Jamie Cameron. Photo by Darren Rigo.