Shuvinai Ashoona

Shuvinai Ashoona is a talented artist born in 1961 in Kinngait, Nunavut, to a family with a rich artistic heritage. Her father, Kuiga Ashoona, was a hunter and master carver; her mother, Sorosilooto Ashoona, was a graphic artist; her grandmother, Pitseolak Ashoona, was a renowned artist in drawing and printmaking. She is also related to artists Napachie Pootoogook, her aunt, and Annie Pootoogook, her cousin.

She has made significant contributions to the art world through her detailed and imaginative works, which often depict Northern landscapes, contemporary Inuit life, folklore and more. Her distinctive artistic style reflects a unique worldview by combining complex graphic details with elements of Inuit cosmology and a deep commitment to climate change. Over the years, Ashoona’s art has evolved to become larger, more colorful and more personal, showcasing her deep exploration of her imagination.

Her collaborations with other artists have further entriched her artistic journey. In 2008, Ashoona collaborated with John Noestheden, a Regina-based artist, on a large banner “Earth and Sky” that became part of a public art installation at the Basel Art Fair.

Ohito Ashoona below ‘Earth and Sky’-Banner by Shuvinai Ashoona and John Noestheden at Freie Strasse, Basel-Switzerland in 2008

It was also exhibited at the 18th Sydney Biennale in 2012 and at an exhibition in the National Gallery of Canada in 2013 entitled “Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art.”

Ashoona’s work has been featured in prestigious exhibitions and collections, solidifying her place as a respected artist in the art community. In 2024 she received the Governor General’s Award! Remarkably, she is only the third Inuk woman to be honored with a Governor General’s Award.

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