Rankin Inlet Ceramics


Contemporary Inuit art has its beginnings in the 1940s and 1950s in the Canadian Arctic. Arts and crafts items were created for export to southern markets to give economic assistance to Inuit who were facing the transition from a subsistence hunting lifestyle to a cash based economy. The creation of ceramics in Rankin Inlet has its beginnings in similar circumstances.

Rankin Inlet was created in 1955 to support nickel mining in the region. When the ore body was deemed unlikely to support a community in the long term, other employment projects were tried including the creation of an arts and crafts project, with a particular focus on ceramics.

While the first iteration of the ceramics project wasn’t as successful as originally hoped, lasting only 15 years, the craft was revived in the late 1980s under the guidance of the Matchbox Gallery’s Jim Shirley.

Ceramics production is one of the most vibrant artistic expressions in Rankin Inlet.  Each ceramist is encouraged to explore individual interests in the creation of greenware (unfired clay) and then the technical aspects of firing and finishing become communal activities.

Two types of work in clay were represented in this exhibition: decorated pots and sculptures in clay. The work of the following artists were included in the exhibition: Laurent Aksadjuak, Roger Aksadjuak, Pierre Aupilardjuk, John Kurok, Jack Nuviyak, Yvo Samgushak, and Lucy Sanertanut.

This publication is the catalogue of the exhibition Rankin Inlet Ceramics organized by The Winnipeg Art Gallery and presented May 1 – August 2, 2003.

Published by the Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2003, Paperback

English, Colour Photos

ISBN 0889152241

64 Pages

Curator: Darlene Coward Wight

In stock

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Weight 0.1930 kg
Dimensions 0.635 × 15.875 × 22.86 cm