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Earth and Sky – Collaborative work by Shuvinai Ashoona and John Noestheden

by aanationtalk on May 2, 2013822 Views


Until September 2, 2013, visitors to the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) may admire Earth and Sky, a 50-meter-long banner reproducing an original collaborative drawing by Shuvinai Ashoona and John Noestheden. Suspended from the ceiling of the colonnade, the striking windowed walkway that leads to the NGC’s galleries, the banner presents the drawing in its entirety for the first time. This installation at the NGC is organized in conjunction with the Northern Scene programming presented by Canada’s National Arts Centre. Earth and Sky is also included among some 170 works featured in Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art, the NGC’s major summer exhibition beginning May 17.

On display in the NGC’s contemporary galleries (B-108), the original drawing from which the banner is based integrates a natural landscape of summer berries and plants, duck eggs, rocks and multiple horizons drawn by Ashoona with a skyscape of celestial bodies that includes stars, galaxies and a comet designed by Noestheden. Recalling the places where Ashoona camped and fished with her family, the landscape also demonstrates the impact of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in times past. The celestial events in Noestheden’s sky are adapted from drawings by the 15th-century German astronomer Peter Apian and from contemporary star guides for astronomers.

This installation is curated by NGC Associate curator of Indigenous Art Christine Lalonde.

The artists’ first banner project was created for Stadthimmel-Citysky, an event at the 2008 Basel art fair and it has been repeated for Nuit Blanche (Toronto, 2008) and the Sydney Biennale (2012).

Inuit Art
Also as part of the Northern Scene Festival, the NGC presents New Voices from the New North, an exhibition curated by Christine Lalonde, with the assistance of independent curator Heather Campbell. On view in the Inuit art galleries, the exhibition features outstanding artworks by Inuit artists from its collection. Ranging from sculpture to works on paper to video, the artworks are paired with commentary by diverse voices of Inuit artists, elders, youth, and other cultural and political leaders, bringing to the fore multiple perspectives on history, changes to Inuit societies, and present-day life in the new North.

Various artists from the Canadian Arctic regions are included: Davidialuk Alasua Amittu, Luke Anguhadluq, Tony Anguhalluq, Kenojuak Ashevak, Karoo Ashevak, Kiugak Ashoona, Shuvinai Ashoona, Igloolik Isuma Productions, Elisapee Ishulutaq, Mattiusi Iyaituk, Helen Kalvak, Qavavau Manumie, Michael Massie, William Noah, Jessie Oonark, Jacoposie Oopakak, Kananginak Pootoogook, Itee Pootoogook, Pudlo Pudlat, David Ruben Piqtoukun, Nick Sikkuark and Ningeokuluk Teevee.
Galleries and museums crawl
From 6 pm to 9 pm on Friday, April 26, members of the public are invited to board the free SWARM bus at the NAC for a gallery and museum crawl. On this occasion, the Gallery’s colonnade, gallery B-108, the Inuit art galleries and the Bookstore will be open. Free admission.

About Northern Scene
Until May 4, 2013, Canada’s National Arts Centre presents Northern Scene, the sixth in a series of national Scene festivals celebrating and showcasing Canada’s finest established and emerging artists.

Northern Scene will feature more than 250 artists from Yukon, the Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Nunavik, and Nunatsiavut to take over the nation’s capital. For more information, visit

About Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art
Sakahàn, meaning “to light [a fire]” in the language of the Algonquin peoples, is the largest survey of recent Indigenous art organized by a national institution and that the world has ever seen. The exhibition features artworks by award-winning artists, including Rebecca Belmore, Brian Jungen, and Annie Pootoogook from Canada as well as internationally renown artists as Jimmie Durham (United States/Italy/Germany), Michael Parekowhai (New Zealand), and Teresa Margolles (Mexico/Spain).  It also presents artists who have not yet received widespread exposure in North America, such as Toru Kaizawa (Japan), Venkat Raman Singh Shyam (India), and Outi Pieski (Finland). The artists’ approaches are as varied as their chosen media, which include performance art, drawing, installations, painting, photography, sculpture and video. Several new works will be created specifically for the exhibition. Sakahàn is organized by the National Gallery of Canada, supported by the RBC Foundation and sponsored by CN. For more information, visit

Connect with Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art
The NGC regularly publishes information about the exhibition on its social media networks. To find out more, connect with: Facebook: Twitter: @gallerydotca

Admission fees
Adults: $12. Seniors and full-time students: $10 Youth (12-19): $6. Families (two adults and three youth): $24. Admission is free for children under the age of 12 and for Members. Free admission Thursdays after 5 pm and Sunday May 19 (International Museum Day), Sunday June 2 (Doors Open Ottawa), Friday June 21 (National Aboriginal Day), and Monday July 1st (Canada Day). For more information, call 613-998-8888 or 1-888-541-8888.

About the National Gallery of Canada 
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada’s premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. To do so, it maintains an extensive touring art exhibition programme. For more information, visit

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For media only:

For more information, please contact:

Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada


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