Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Marion Tuu'luq - The Glorious Fabric of Art and Life

Ottawa, Canada - October 8, 2002


 « Marion Tuu'luq : La magnifique étoffe de l'art et de la vie »  

A little over two weeks ago, the National Gallery of Canada was greatly saddened to learn of the death of Marion Tuu'luq, one of Canada's foremost Inuit artists. When she started working more than 30 years ago, Tuu'luq had no inkling that one day an exhibition devoted entirely to her work would be held at Canada's National Gallery. Tuu'luq had worked on the project over the past two years and was eagerly awaiting the opening. The NGC is pleased to honour this remarkable artist's vision of the world, at once modest and sublime, presented in the exhibition Marion Tuu'luq from 11 October 2002 to 12 January 2003.

Marion Tuu'luq brings together 37 fascinating works on cloth. Their vivid colours, delicate embroidery and lively appliqués are a perfect illustration of Tuu'luq's experience of life in the Canadian Arctic, before and after the massive social, economic and political changes that took place there throughout much of the 20th century. Her art is a reflection on the significance of the land and the family in Inuit life, the joys and hardships of nature and the realities of change.

Born around 1910, in the Chantrey Inlet / Back River area of Nuvanut, north-west of Hudson Bay, Marion Tuu'luq belonged to a traditional, semi-nomadic group of Inuit who lived, according to the season, in tents or snow houses. When the threat of starvation in the 1960s compelled them to leave the land and move into the settlement of Baker Lake, Tuu'luq acknowledged that she was relieved to have escaped the extremities of her life on the land. But she also felt profound sadness at no longer being able to follow the rhythms of the nomadic life, at no longer experiencing the beauty of life on the very edge of the stark quest for survival. These elements loom large in her work, which is peopled by a profusion of human, animal and spirit figures linked in motifs expressing a unified vision of traditional contemporary Inuit life.

Organized and circulated by the National Gallery of Canada, this exhibition would not have been possible without the invaluable collaboration of guest curator Marie Bouchard, who lived in Baker Lake for 11 years; Marie Routledge, Associate Curator, Inuit Art, NGC; public and private lenders, the artist's family; and, of course, Marion Tuu'luq herself, who left us on September 22. The NGC also wishes to express its gratitude to our media sponsors, CBC-TV, La Télévision de Radio-Canada, The Ottawa Citizen and Le Droit, for their invaluable support.

Following its showing at the National Gallery, Marion Tuu'luq will be presented at The Winnipeg Art Gallery, from 21 August to 12 October 2003; the Art Gallery of Ontario, from 1 November 2003 to 11 January 2004; and finally at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, from 20 May to 29 July 2004.

The exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue, produced by the NGC, with a foreword by Pierre Théberge, Director of the NGC; essays by guest curator Marie Bouchard and Marie Routledge, the NGC's curator of Inuit art, and an afterword by Phoebe Anne Kudja'aq, the artist's granddaughter. The catalogue is on sale at the NGC Bookstore.

Contemporary GalleriesB101, B106, B107, B109 & B108a

(613) 990-1985

Until October 14 daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.Thursdays to 8 p.m.
From October 15 Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.Thursdays to 8 p.m.
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Adults $7
Seniors and full-time students $5
Youth (12 to 19 years) $3

Jade, Tuu'luq and The Print in Italy
Adults $12
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Youth (12 to 19 years)$5
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Admission free for children under 12 and Friends of the NGC

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