CANADIAN ARCTIC GALLERY

Based in Switzerland-Europe our gallery offers a wide selection of high quality Inuit and First Nations Art from Canada.

Inuit Art

“The history of Inuit cultures and the art of the various regions and times can only be understood if the myth of a homogeneous Inuit culture is discarded altogether. Though it has not been possible to determine the exact origin(s) of the Inuit, nor of the various Inuit cultures, five distinct cultures have been established in the Canadian area: Pre-Dorset , Dorset , Thule, Historic and Contemporary.”

Swinton, George, “Inuit Art”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published July 08, 2008; last modified November 09, 2016.

What Canadian Arctic Gallery is offering belongs to the Contemporary time period.

Inuit Art Sculpture
First Nations Sculpture

First Nations Art

“More than 3,000 years ago, Indigenous peoples of the coast of British Columbia (and adjacent areas of Washington State and southeastern Alaska) such as the Haida and Kwakiutl developed artistic traditions that are heralded throughout the world for their imaginative and stylistic qualities. Apart from their sophisticated design and refined craftsmanship, the masks and totem poles familiar from Northwest Coast Aboriginal art powerfully impacted the work of major American abstract artists such as Barnett Newman, gave rise to a revival of craftsmanship on the Northwest Coast over the past thirty years, and shaped the work of contemporary Aboriginal artists such as Brian Jungen who have largely worked within the mainstream western art world.”

Halpin, Marjorie M., “Northwest Coast Indigenous Art”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published February 07, 2006; last modified August 02, 2017.

What Canadian Arctic Gallery is offering belongs to the Contemporary time period.

Jewellery

Not only graphic and sculptural Art is part of the artistic expression of Inuit and First Nations Artists. All the cultural background is part of  the small fine jewellery pieces that are available in many different mediums, styles and sizes throughout Canada.

Inuit & First Nations Jewellery is becoming more and more popular with national and international buyers and collectors. Northwest Coast First Nations Artists are famous for their beautiful designs and fine jewellery. High quality rings, bracelets, earrings and pendants made of silver, gold and argillite are highly valued and sought after world wide.

Textiles & Basketry

“In weaving, all of the techniques found elsewhere in North America were used, except true loom (heddle) weaving. The inland Tlingit excelled in false embroidery; the Haida in “self-designed” twined spruce-root hats; the Coast Salish in cherry-bark imbrication on coiled baskets; and the Nuu-cha-nulth(Nootka) or West coast women in twined cedar-bark hats with onion-shaped tops, overlaid with strands of beargrass woven in conventionalized whale-hunting scenes.

An exceptional formline weaving technique was developed in the north, becoming a specialty of the Chilkat Tlingit in the 19th century. Chilkat blankets are the highest-valued examples of the weaver’s art, worn by chiefs as far south as the Southern Kwakwaka’awakw (Kwakiutl). The warps are shredded cedar bark twisted with mountain goats’ wool; the wefts are pure wool.

The Coast Salish made twill-plaited blankets in geometric designs out of goat wool, cattail fluff and (reportedly) the hair of a small fluffy dog, extinct since early contact times. In the 1980s, women from the Musqueam community near Vancouver revived the art of making twill-plaited blankets. Basket making has also continued with some vitality among the Coast Salish and Nuu-cha-nulth women and is being revived among the Tsimshian and Haida. Woven blankets were replaced by Hudson’s Bay Co woolen blankets — both for dancing and as potlatch gifts. Crest designs were sewn on woolen blankets in buttons, shells and appliqué.”

Halpin, Marjorie M., “Northwest Coast Indigenous Art”. In The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Article published February 07, 2006; last modified August 02, 2017.

Background Information

Many very good books have been written, many excellent DVDs have been produced and the Cape Dorset Calendar delights every year the collectors around the world.

Being aware of this important cultural heritage overwhelming things are happening and significant collections are getting new homes in well established museums, newly planned or recently built Art or Cultural Centres.

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