The Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio
Pangnirtung Tapestry Collection 2011
Our 2011 collection introduces a new component, a collaboration with a Guest Artist from another community in Nunavut with #488 Thoughts of the Owl based on a drawing by renowned artist Kenojuak Ashevak of Cape Dorset.
The 2011 collection honours the life and work of Lypa Pitsiulak 1944 - 2011. Pitsiulak is known for a large body of drawings that animated and recorded Inuit stories. Tapestry #484 The Raven and the Seagull depicts one such story.
The 2011 collection welcomes Pangnirtung graphic artists Jolly Atagoyuk, Geela Sowdluapik and Piona Keyuakyuk and tapestry weaver Lorna Lawson.
View the 2011 Pangnirtung Tapestry Collection and prices(opens in a new window)
Celebrating forty years of tapestry weaving
Tapestry 464 - "Winter Game", Elisapee Ishulutaq (artist), Kawtysie Kakee (weaver).
Weaving was introduced to the women of Pangnirtung in 1970 as a livelihood opportunity. Woven tapestry was introduced as a medium for Inuit to tell the narratives of their lives and represent their culture. The first exhibition was held in 1972 at the Guild of Canadian Crafts, Montreal with tapestries based on drawings by two women, Malaya Akulukjuk and Elisapee Ishuluktuk who were invited to draw for tapestry designs. Tapestry weaving has since flourished in this small remote community. Its success is two-fold. The craft of tapestry employs the attention to detail akin to more traditional pursuits such as traditional sewing, garment design and construction skills practiced for thousands of years on the land. The talent and tenacity necessary to traditional sewing have been applied with enthusiasm and creativity to the demands of fine craft and tapestry weaving. Its success also stems from the enthusiasm of Inuit who began to draw the stories of their lives and their culture to be woven into colourful tapestries.
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In Pangnirtung tapestry employs both horizontal fabric looms as well as high-beam (vertical) tapestry looms. The tapestries have been designed in annual collections of Limited Editions since 1978 with close to 500 hundred unique designs. In 1991 the studio purchased a twelve-foot wide high-beam loom for the weaving of commissioned one-of-a-kind tapestries for public and private spaces. These include the 10 ft. high by 22 ft. wide Back Then (2001) tapestry for the lobby of the Legislative Assembly in Iqaluit and the 6ft. high by 10 ft. wide tapestry commissioned by Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Games.
The remarkable success of tapestry weaving in Pangnirtung arises from the combination of traditional Inuit skin-sewing skills, adapted to the telling of Inuit stories in wool. The result is a unique body of textile work lending a sense of pride as well as bringing economic benefits to the community while telling and preserving its stories for future generations.
View a slideshow on the 40th anniversary celebration of the tapestry studio.