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We are excited to present Shuvinai Ashoona: Mapping Worlds here at the Yukon Arts Centre. Ashoona is one of the best known Indigenous artists in Canada. Her artwork is exhibited and celebrated globally. This extensive solo exhibition is on national tour (it most recently was at the Vancouver Art Gallery) and this is only stop in Northern Canada as the Yukon Arts Centre is the only space in the North that is able to host a show of this size. In fact, this is one of the largest exhibitions the Yukon Arts Centre has presented and we are thrilled to bring this important show of Northern Indigenous art to Whitehorse. 

The exhibition Mapping Worlds brings together a selection of pencil crayon and ink drawings created by the Inuk artist Shuvinai Ashoona over the past two decades. Many of Shuvinai Ashoona’s early drawings depict scenes of Kinngait (formerly known as Cape Dorset), Nunavut. Ashoona is best known for her highly personal and imaginative motifs and celebrated for the way in which she combines images ranging from closely observed naturalistic scenes of her Arctic home, to new worlds created from within her imagination. Ashoona’s work is inspired by her fascination with movies, comic books and television, and in this exhibition students will encounter Ashoona’s wide-reaching interests that blur boundaries between the worlds of reality and fantasy, past and future.


Shuvinai Ashoona was born in Kinngait, Nunavut (formerly known as Cape Dorset). Ashoona is part of Canada’s Inuit culture and comes from a large family of artists. She produces her work at Kinngait Studios, the art arm of the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative. Ashoona did not attend formal art school. Instead, she worked alongside her elders to study and learn by observing them work and create art in the studio.

Ashoona’s drawings are filled with her memories of the Arctic, historical stories she heard from her elders and daily realities of life in Kinngait, combined with worlds from within her imagination that create her own unique take on northern life, and many of her drawings feature a bird’s eye view. Each meticulously detailed drawing contains a story within a story—a surprise, an observation or an unexpected twist. Ashoona has created a language of motifs, which includes, among other things, globes, bird eggs and human-animal hybrid creatures. Shuvinai Ashoona has altered expectations of what Inuit art should look like by producing art that responds to the complex impact of a century of colonial influence in the Arctic.

Saturday, September 12 - Friday, November 27

Shuvinai Ashoona: Mapping Worlds

Event Details


Saturday, September 12 2020

Friday, November 27 2020