Winnipeg Art Gallery exhibit showcases Inuit art and communities

A new exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery is showcasing the beauty of Inuit art and the communities where it comes.

Small Worlds features a large collection of miniature carvings.

“The exhibition brings together a little over 100 miniature carvings from 19 different communities across Nunavut and the four regions,” says Jocelyn Piirainen, assistant curator of Inuit art.

Piirainen was tasked with putting together the latest exhibit.

“I love the expression of their movements,” she said.

“You can see the carver decided to share the detailing of the hood.”

The carvings depict scenes custom to the north including a hunter catching their meal, or a group gathered around an igloo.

Piirainen said Small Worlds deviates from what non-Inuit traditionally view as art.

“A wonderful contrast as well to maybe what people would generally think of Inuit art and Inuit carving,” she said.

Each display plays on different themes including family and survival.

Small Worlds is the latest effort to ramp up interest of the gallery’s Inuit Art Centre.

Piirainen said visitors can expect to see a lot more carvings.

“The majority will be carvings of stone simply because any of the other materials they would have to be conserved set away from the lights,” she said.

Small Worlds will run until February 2020.

The Inuit Art Centre is expected to open next fall.

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