The tiny Canadian hamlet of Cape Dorset, just south of the Arctic Circle, has been known since the late 1950s as the capital of Inuit art, thanks to the community's many talented artists. Here, 12 female artist and writers reflect on a way of life that is now threatened. Each has a story to tell-of growing up female in a harsh environment, of adapting to new cultures and learning the nuances of familiar ways, of learning new art forms through which to portray the best, and worst, of their extraordinary lives.
Interwoven with vivid images of a unique culture and a stern landscape are the women's thoughtful comments on their creative inspirations. Each speaks her concerns with energy, channelling her passions through art that is at once subtle and bold, and delicate in detail, yet forceful. Two hundred illustrations, over 50 in full color, depict the artists' striking graphics, sculpture, and jewelry.
Covering prehistoric to contemporary works of cultures from Siberia to the Bering Strait, Arctic Spirit is based on some of the world's most important collections of Inuit art. Organized by major themes-the land, the animals, the supernatural-the book showcases sculptures, prints and drawings, and textiles. Highlighting Canadian Inuit works but also including such rarities as ancient Alaskan ivories as well as contemporary Greenlandic tupilaks, Arctic Spirit features extensive commentaries, historical background, and artist interviews.