The Arrival of the SunEnlarge image

The Arrival of the Sun, 1962

Kenojuak Ashevak
Canadian (Inuit), 1927 - 2013
stonecut in black and yellow on japan paper
Printed by Lukta Qiatsuk
63.4 x 99.4 cm
Gift of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative, Cape Dorset, Northwest Territories, 1995
National Gallery of Canada (no. 38038)
© West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd.

The arrival of the sun - or the winter solstice in areas where the sun did not disappear completely - was marked with festivities and special rituals by many Inuit groups. The "qulliq" or stone lamp might be extinguished and relit to signify the beginning of a new year. The cup-and-pin game known as "ajagaq" might be played to encourage the sun to come up higher. In this print, Kenojuak's interconnected bird forms surrounding the sun remind the viewer that, most importantly, with the light comes more plentiful game and easier times for the hunters and the people they feed. The making of this print is featured in the film "Eskimo Artist: Kenojuak."


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