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Nuvisavik, "The Place Where We Weave"

Inuit Tapestries from Arctic Canada presented at the McCord

Montréal, November 4, 2006 - As of November 4, the McCord Museum presents Nuvisavik, "The Place Where We Weave": Inuit Tapestries from Arctic Canada. This beautiful exhibition brings together a dozen tapestries and represents the work of eleven artists and nine weavers from the tiny community of Pangnirtung, on Baffin Island. These textile artists transform their drawings into tapestries celebrating the heroic lives of their ancestors.

The history of this unique art began with the founding of a weaving studio in Pangnirtung. The studio was originally part of a federal government initiative that created arts and crafts studios in the new population centres of the Arctic, as a way of mitigating the traumatic effect of forced resettlement on the Inuit. After leaving a semi-nomadic life, characterized by hunting, fishing and trapping, and moving to a permanent settlement, the women of Pangnirtung took up weaving as a new vocation. Already skilled at knitting and sewing fur and hide garments, they were quick to master tapestry techniques.

"For over 300 years, the Inuit have come into contact with European technologies and materials which they integrated into their traditional way of life. These changes are reflected not only in the new techniques employed by the artists and weavers showcased in the exhibition Nuvisavik, but also by historic objects in the McCord's collections" explains Moira McCaffrey, Director of Research and Exhibitions at the McCord Museum.

Today, most of the Inuit on Baffin Island live in modern settlements. They remain deeply proud, however, of their forebears, who thrived in one of the world's most challenging environments. The tapestries are an expression of this pride. As one weaver has stated: "Some people might think these are just wall hangings but they are a part of us, our ancestors, our lives."

Today, most of the Inuit on Baffin Island live in modern settlements. They remain deeply proud, however, of their forebears, who thrived in one of the world's most challenging environments. The tapestries are an expression of this pride. As one weaver has stated: "Some people might think these are just wall hangings but they are a part of us, our ancestors, our lives."

Complimentary activities

To complement the exhibition Nuvisavik: "The Place Where We Weave", the McCord Museum and the Canadian Guild of Crafts invite you to meet with Inuit artisans and discuss the art of tapestry.

Thursday, January 25, 2007 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm
Friends of the McCord: $10 / General public: $20
Information and reservations: 514 398-7100, extension 222

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The McCord
The McCord is home to one of the finest historical collections in North America. It possesses some of Canada's most significant cultural treasures, including the most comprehensive collection of clothing made or worn in Canada; an extensive collection related to Aboriginal history and art; and the renowned Notman Photographic Archives.

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Photographs available upon request.

 

Source and information:

Nike Langevin, Head, Communications and Promotion
514 398-7100, ext. 251
nike.langevin@mccord.mcgill.ca

Karine Di Genova, Officer, Communications
514 398-7100, ext. 239
karine.digenova@mccord.mcgill.ca

Catherine Macpherson, Officer, Communications
514 398-7100, ext. 305
catherine.macpherson@mccord.mcgill.ca


The McCord wishes to acknowledge the support of the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Arts Council of Montréal.