Viewed from a distance, this at first appears to be an abstract image. On closer inspection, however, it is a bird's-eye view of a fish weir surrounded by ice. On even closer inspection, one discovers a patient polar bear, waiting at the left end of the fish weir for dinner to swim his way. Qavavau Manumie 's work has been included in the Cape Dorset print collection for the last twenty years, and has attracted critical praise. Many of his images, like this one, feature a gentle irony.
Qavavau Manumie | Untitled (Bear and fish) | | Alaska on Madison
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Qavavau Manumie, Untitled (Sedna and whalebones)
22 x 30 in.
This haunting drawing foresees the destruction of Sedna's creatures, presumably by global warming. A hunter holds Sedna, who appears to be insensible or even dead, in a landscape that is devoid of snow and ice. A dead whale lies on the beach at the left of the picture, with its bones exposed. Other whalebones are seen sticking up and lying on the beach. The hunter's harpoon lies next to him, useless because there is nothing to hunt. The Inuit are keenly aware of climate change; its effects are more pronounced in the Arctic than in the temperate zones. It manifests itself in many ways, from the appearance of formerly Southern birds (one Cape Dorset artist responded to a question about global warming by saying "now we have robins") to the disturbance of historical migration patterns for game, making hunting difficult.
Qavavau Manumie | Untitled (Sedna and whalebones) | | Alaska on Madison
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