Inuit artists Ruben Komangapik and Koomuatuk (Kuzy) Curley have been commissioned to create a monumental stone and bronze sculpture at York University, which is a host venue for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. Their piece, titled “Ahqahizu”, will be installed beside the Stong House at the northwest corner of York’s Keele campus at the end of summer.
While work on the sculpture is underway, visitors are invited to view a maquette of “Ahqahizu” and a selection of the artists’ individual work, which is on display in the Gales Gallery until July 24. The Gales Gallery is located in Room 105, Accolade West Building, Keele campus. Admission to the gallery is free. Hours of the exhibit are 11am to 4pm.
Aptly called Tatigi (an Inuktitut word for teamwork), the show is curated by Britt Gallpen and School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) Associate Dean Anna Hudson. The show offers a special opportunity to explore Komangapik’s and Curley’s unique styles and creative interests, and to imagine the end result of their joint project.
“Ahqahizu” is being carved from a 26-tonne block of Stanstead granite. It is the most ambitious collaborative sculpture ever undertaken by two Inuit artists from Nunavut. To complete the project, Komangapik and Curley have gathered a team of assistants and apprentices, including undergraduate and graduate students in the visual art program in AMPD, along with other York University community members who are lending their skills and respect for creative cultural traditions.
The exhibition Tatigi and the scultpure commission “Ahqahizu” are part of Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage, a multi-media, multi-platform collaborative research and creation project supported by the Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada.