Artworks and Artists
Marble Island

Marble Island,
1980
Annaqtuusi Tulurialik, Ruth
colour linocut and stencil on mulberry paper
56 x 82.1 cm

Theme:

Marble Island is situated off Rankin Inlet in Hudson Bay. In the words of the artist, " Several whalers that came from the South in the nineteenth century are buried here. Today, if you go to the island, you have to crawl on the ground so as not to anger the spirit of the island and the dead." Using a palette of bright, contrasting colours with brown and orange predominating, Tulurialik covers the entire surface of the paper with her story. It is divided into different episodes. On the upper left we recognize a somewhat fantastical ship with men aboard, probably a reference to the whalers. To the right of the ship are the sepulchres, with the spirits of the dead hovering above. The rest of the sheet is covered by crawling figures with exaggerated, caricatured expressions, several with their tongues hanging out because of their physical exertion. Dry land is suggested by a multitude of short red strokes, with here and there a pair of eyes emerging. In contrast, the water is represented by longer strokes of blue organized into bands, where we can make out the forms of fish and seals.