Sami & Inuit Art exhibition


If you are anywhere near Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, you may be interested in this upcoming exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. I wish I could see it because, as some readers know, I’m interested in the northern indigenous cultures. I do wish they had an online gallery for those of us who can’t get there.

In the Shadow of the Midnight Sun: Sami and Inuit Art (2000-2005)
January 14 – May 7, 2006
Opening Reception: Sunday, February 19, 2006

“This exhibition presents a selection of work by Canadian Inuit artists and Sami artists from Norway, Sweden and Finland made between 2000 and 2005. Although there is no evidence that the Sami and Inuit are in any way related, they are both indigenous cultures who originally inhabited the lands now incorporated into the confines of contemporary nations. Their circumstances in the years since contact have many similarities as far as the affects on religion, language, lifestyle, learning and politics, with the exception that Sami European contact was earlier and more intense.

Both cultures have a long history of making specially crafted objects for functional and religious use; the contemporary manifestations of this tradition show varying degrees of connection with previous times as well as clear indications of change. Artworks from both cultures are displayed side by side in this exhibition and their juxtaposition invites comparison in such characteristics as continuing connection to the original culture, size, media, content and reference to the past.

It is not always easy at such a geographical distance from these cultures to know just what is happening right now–it takes time for information about the art to trickle down. The title of this exhibition, In the Shadow of the Midnight Sun, is taken from a book of contemporary Sami prose and poetry edited by Harald Gaski (Karasjok: Davvi Girji, 1996). This poetic phrase emphasizes the distance that separates the Inuit and Sami from the more populated areas south of them. They are far enough away, in their land of the midnight sun, to retain an element of romantic exoticness for many people. With this exhibition we hope to throw some light on at least one aspect of their recent lives — the art.”

Thanks to Árran Blog for this information. Árran Blog presents news and announcements of interest to the Sami people living in North America, with many fascinating links.

ADDENDUM Jan.11.06 – Thank you to Steve Denyes, Communications Manager for the Art Gallery of Hamilton for writing in the comments! He kindly points out that there are some images from the exhibition on view on their website – just follow his suggested links or try this link. Shown are works by several Inuit artists and one by a Sami artist.

January 4, 2006 in Art Exhibitions, Ethnicity, Finland, Estonia & Finno-Ugric by Marja-Leena