“I enjoy the animals and the land, and I take what I see there to my drawings.” Manumie’s drawings of hybrid forms and entanglements—including sea creatures freeing one another from nets—are his way “of creating completely new places and strange activities that maybe trick the people who look at [them].” Manumie has worked in the printmaking studio in Kinngait | Cape Dorset since 1988. Along with representations of the sea, a recurring subject for Manumie are the Inugagulligaq, those referred to as “the little people.” The subject of stories relayed to Manumie by his father, Inugagulligaq live within Inuit society, but remain largely unseen.

Transformation is a recurring theme in Manumie’s practice, suggesting a relationality between the human and animal worlds as well as between nature and technology. In his drawings, a whale becomes a massive ship, with a hull and a mast in place of a dorsal fin; a woman rests on a bed of kelp with a fin for legs, and birds and fish are intermingled with hooks and harpoons, suggesting the interdependence between their lives and those of the people that they feed. With transformation there is also potentiality—a little person holds two large bird wings in each hand seeming to contemplate the possibility for flight, or the potential to become another being.

This project is made possible with generous support from West Baffin Eskimo Co-Operative.

Bio

Qavavau Manumie (Inuit, born in Brandon, MB, Canada; lives in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, Canada) is an accomplished and precise printmaker who enjoys the opportunity to demonstrate printmaking techniques to young artists and visitors to the studio. His stylistic abilities range from the very literal to the more expressive in idiosyncratic work that is often amusing in its depictions of Inuit legends and mythology, Arctic wildlife, and contemporary aspects of Inuit life.

Exhibition Site

259 Lake Shore Blvd East

The life of this nondescript building reveals the area’s economic history. Its first tenant in 1945, the Standard Chemical Company, produced methanol, formaldehyde, and charcoal. A railway line to the south tethered the site to the movement of goods. By 1954, the building was divided into a warehouse and a showroom, a configuration that remained intact over the course of various leaseholders, including oil and electrical supply companies and a series of car dealerships. (The advertising of its most recent tenant, Volvo, is still visible on the façade.) This building’s fate is indeterminate, as real estate development is increasingly filling the voids left by industrial decline.

259 Lake Shore Blvd East
Toronto ON
M5A 3T7