Stones, Bones and Stitches: Storytelling Through Inuit Art

Stones, Bones and Stitches:  Storytelling Through Inuit Art
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Release Date
October 09, 2007
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Did you know?
-Cape Dorset boasts the largest number of artists per capita in Canada (22.7 percent — almost one-quarter of the labor force and thirty times the national average!)
-The word Eskimo is a derogatory term meaning “eaters
of raw flesh”
-Some Inuit artists quarry stone for their sculptures in the winter, but have to wait until the summer to bring it back to their workshops
-An igloo uses the same design principles found in the great cathedrals of Europe
-According to legends, the stone figures, called Inukshuks, protect travelers and point them to the safest pathway
-The Inuit have been carving for over 4,000 years

Stones, Bones and Stitches is a fascinating and beautiful introduction to the art of the North. Focusing on several important works from the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, curators Shelley Falconer and Shawna White take you on an impressive journey through the artistic landscape. The evolving character of the North is explored through the lens of some of Canada’s most significant Inuit artists, past and present.

Included are eight different works from sculpture to prints, each highlighted with introductions to the artists, the materials they used, geography, legends, and stories. Photographs together with intriguing facts give the reader insight into the artists’ lives, communities, and working conditions along with brief histories of the region.

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New and fascinating perspectives on art and life in the North
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Reader reviewed by Marla Arbach, Foreign Correspondent

Although North America stretches all the way up to the Arctic Ocean, we dont often pay attention to whats going on in the region known as the North (the area above the 60th parallel). Stones, Bones and Stitches, an art book from the curators of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, introduces readers to the culture and heritage of the Inuit people through eight important works, which range from soapstone and whalebone carvings, to appliquéd and embroidered wall hangings, to stonecut prints.

With photos on nearly every page (and a handy map), the book offers an excellent combination of biographical information about the six featured artists, factual information about the North, and interpretation of the works of art being showcased. This extremely interesting and educational volume is a must-have for schools and for anyone who likes art or culture. I feel privileged to have experienced a little bit of the fascinating life and culture of the people of the North through this book. This book is a gift.
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