Ningiukulu Teevee has never lost her wonder at the world, and, at heart, she is unikaarti
—a storyteller. She thinks in pictures, and drawing is her language. Teevee is soft-spoken, but her message is clear and strong, and with it she is expanding the narrative of the North, breaking new ground for Inuit art.
Teevee hails from Cape Dorset, home to a multigenerational community of artists and the Kinngait Studios, the longest continually operating print studios in Canada. Her inventive images first appeared in the studios’ annual collection of limited-edition prints in 2004 and have been represented every year since. Her work is rooted in respect for traditional Inuit culture and an abiding love of family, but along with artists such as Tim Pitsiulak and Annie Pootoogook, Teevee has proven herself unafraid of pushing artistic boundaries. In drawings alive with mischievous charm or weighted by a grittier reality, she often merges traditional Inuit art with contemporary aesthetics, revealing positive and negative changes to life in Arctic communities.
In 2009, Teevee’s illustrated children’s book, Alego
, was shortlisted for a Governor General’s award. In 2017 Ningiukulu Teevee: Kinngait Stories
, curated by the Winnipeg Art Gallery, opened at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC—the first major retrospective of Teevee’s career to date. Ningiukulu Teevee: Drawings and Prints from Cape Dorset
is the first monograph on the artist’s work. Presented here are more than eighty reproductions and photographs, with critical context provided by Leslie Boyd, former director of Dorset Fine Arts, Toronto. Teevee’s art has been exhibited widely and is in collections around the world, among them the Art Gallery of Ontario, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and the National Gallery of Canada.About the Author
Leslie Boyd was employed by the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative for thirty-two years, living in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, and in Toronto, where she was director of the Co-op’s marketing division, Dorset Fine Arts. As an independent writer and curator, Boyd has published essays in exhibition catalogues for private galleries and public institutions. She is also editor of Cape Dorset Prints: A Retrospective
(Pomegranate, 2007), a comprehensive illustrated history of the Kinngait Studios in Cape Dorset, and author of Tim Pitsiulak: Drawings and Prints from Cape Dorset
(Pomegranate, 2018). Boyd holds a master’s degree in Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto, where she studied the history of the Inuit co-operative movement in northern Canada.