ONLINE EXHIBITION: Inuit Sculpture

Pre-register interest

We are delighted to present a selection of Inuit Canadian sculpture and textile, which have been brought together by Pat Feheley, Director of one of the last remaining commercial galleries in Canada dedicated exclusively to traditional and contemporary art from the Canadian Arctic and an expert on the work of Inuit textile artists.

The social and economic changes which took place in the Arctic from the 1950s onwards resulted in many of the Inuit leaving their traditional camps and moving to permanent settlements. To help with the transition into a cash economy, art advisors travelled to many of the communities to encourage the making of arts and crafts for sale, including skin purses decorated with skin patterning. The art of larger scale textiles developed in Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), an inland settlement west of Hudson Bay, in the 1960s. Commercial materials – including duffel, embroidery floss and felt – allowed for the creation of larger wall-hangings. The most common technique involved the application of felt cut-outs on duffel, which were then enlivened by fine embroidery. Some artists created abstract designs, but most made references to traditional life.

‘The artists of this early period had all lived the traditional life and their subject matter was reflective of this. These small sculptures, made more naturalistic by the addition of inlay or implements, had a monumental quality that defied their small scale. Greatly sought after by collectors, these small works capture the essence of Inuit culture. Several pieces in this collection of works reflect this transitional moment. The majority of pieces however, celebrate the next stages in contemporary Inuit art—when the scale of sculpture increased and artists began to develop their own unique styles, occasionally abstracting elements for a new and exciting aesthetic.’ Pat Feheley

ONLINE EXHIBITION: Tintypes by Tif Hunter

ONLINE EXHIBITION: Thiébaut Chagué

Thiébaut began his career in 1976, training in France, Belgium and in England under Michael Cardew and Richard Batterham. Returning to France in 1981 he set up his first workshop in the Loire Valley and in 1984 built a new studio in the Vosges with a wood-fired kiln.

Examples of his work can be found in many public collections across Europe in Belgium, France and Germany. He is represented in the V&A museum and has recently been exhibited in the Louvre.

“In May 2012 I visited Thiébaut Chagué at Taintrux in north east France. Taintrux is in the Vosges, an area that has witnessed battles and bloody conflict over many centuries. The Vosges retains a secret fairy-tale quality and Chagué’s home is surrounded by meadows and encircled by small mountain peaks, dark with fir trees and with deciduous trees on the lower slopes, just coming into bright spring-time leaf. One surviving industry in this remote area is logging.

It is a good place for a potter with a wood-fired kiln. Nicholas Bourriaud’s term esthétique relationnelle, describing art that produces or prompts human relations, sociability and even conviviality, comes to mind. Of course, Chagué spends time alone in his studio, with its view of meadows and mountains. But his natural playfulness and gift for friendship have led him into communities of all kinds. He has worked alongside the women potters of the Gwari village of Tatiko in Northern Nigeria. He makes the firing of larger works performative and very public – most memorably in the garden of the Victoria and Albert Museum where in 2010 he created an improvised kiln around his mighty sculpture La Soif et La Source.”  Tanya Harrod, design historian and co-editor of the Journal of Modern Craft…read essay in full