Earth Science and Art

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Head Cluster
Inuit, Inuit people, culture, traditional hunting ground, carving, sculpture, stone, soapstone, Inuit carving, arts and craft movement, Canada's North, stone tools,art and nature,sculptural form, stone, monuments, figure, ice
description

Before contact with people from southern Canada the  InuitInuit means “the people” in Inukititut, the language of the people of northern Canada. Go to http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/pr/info/info114_e.html for further information.  lived off the land and all their needs were met through interaction with their environment. With the arrival of the Hudson’s Bay Company, more people from the South moved into the Inuit homeland. Writer Ingo Hessel comments about the impact of these arrivals on the Inuit people, “As traders spread the desire for southern foods and goods, missionaries spread Christianity, and the RCMP spread the rule of law, Inuit became increasingly drawn into this alien culture. From the late 1940s, change occurred with lightning speed.” (Hessel, 2006)

Government-run villages were soon established where the Inuit, who were displaced from their traditional hunting grounds and ways of life, were relocated for the easier delivery of education and health care.  They had, however, few marketable skills, little  conceptAn idea, thought, or notion conceived through mental activity. The words concept and conception are applied to mental formulations on a broad scale. (Artlex.com)  of money and because there were few wage-earning positions available to them, their poverty and dependence on the government rose. The introduction of the arts and crafts movement in the 1960s provided a means for many Inuit to gain independence and earn a living. Tasseor Tutsweetok comments, “I can really help [my family] with my carving. If I stopped carving, we would probably have nothing. Sometimes we have nothing, and when I sell my carvings we can get groceries or whatever we need.” (Tasseor Tutsweetok in Hessel, 2006)

Carving and making things by hand are not new ideas for the people of Canada’s North.  Inuit artists have been using stone to make tools for survival for over 2,800 years. They often make small-sized carvings of things that are important to them. Ingo Hessel elaborates on this: “Inspiration for the themes in Inuit art is intimately tied to personal experience of the land and its animals, camp and family life, hunting, spirituality and mythology” (Hessel, 1982) Living in harmony with nature and surviving was an art, and art was not something separate from day-to-day life.

The stone used by carvers in Canada’s North varies from place to place and is often difficult to locate. “If I have stone, I carve all the time,” says Tasseor Tutsweetok. (Driscoll, 1982) In and around Arviat the rocks are very hard and the stone affects the kind of detail and carving that can be done. The artists in this region have developed a  minimalistMinimalism is a twentieth century art movement and style stressing the idea of reducing a work of art to the minimum number of colors, values, shapes, lines and textures. No attempt is made to represent or symbolize any other object or experience. It is sometimes called ABC art, minimal art, reductivism, and rejective art. (artlex.com)  abstracted  styleA way of doing something. Use of materials, methods of working, design qualities and choice of subject matter reflect the style of the individual, culture, movement, or time period.  of working where only essential details are revealed. This can be seen in Tasseor Tutsweetok’s Head Cluster. “The mood of Arviat stone sculptures is serious, even sombre; emotional power is enhanced rather than diminished by the absence of detail,” says Ingo Hessel. (Hessel, 1982)
 
Inuit carvers often look at their stone for a long time before beginning to carve it, seeking to connect with the ‘life within the stone.’ Tasseor Tutsweetuk does not work her surfaces of her stones/figures to any great degree, relying on the initial  shapeAn element of art, it is an enclosed space defined and determined by other art elements such as line, colour, value, and texture. In painting and drawing, shapes may take on the appearance of a solid three-dimensional object even though they are limited to two dimensions — length and width. This two-dimensional character of shape distinguishes it from form, which has depth as well as length and width. Examples of shapes include: circle, oval, and oblong; polygons such as triangle, square, rectangle, rhombus, trapezium, trapezoid, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, decagon, undecagon, dodecagon, etc.; and such other kinds of shapes as amorphous, biomorphous, and concretion. (Artlex.com)  of the stone for her inspiration. As a figure emerges from the stone, she will  inciseCutting into a surface, typically in metal, stone, or pottery, often used for lettering and decoration. (artlex.com)  and carve details like the arms and faces on the surface. Writer James Houston has observed that, “According to the Eskimo, the best carvings possess a sense of movement that seems to come from within the material itself, a feeling of tension, a living excitement.” (Houston, 1971)

Tasseor Tutsweetok is not interested in depicting reality but rather an ‘imaginary’ reality where her figures of mothers, children, family and community seem to merge from her stone in phenomenal ways. “It’s the imagination of the  shapeAn element of art, it is an enclosed space defined and determined by other art elements such as line, colour, value, and texture. In painting and drawing, shapes may take on the appearance of a solid three-dimensional object even though they are limited to two dimensions — length and width. This two-dimensional character of shape distinguishes it from form, which has depth as well as length and width. Examples of shapes include: circle, oval, and oblong; polygons such as triangle, square, rectangle, rhombus, trapezium, trapezoid, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, decagon, undecagon, dodecagon, etc.; and such other kinds of shapes as amorphous, biomorphous, and concretion. (Artlex.com)  that I like. It does not look like the real thing. If it looked like a real person, you would simply see a copy of what is alive.” (Tasseor Tutsweetok in Hessel, 1982)

In Head Cluster, seven heads and two arms can be observed as the viewer moves around the sculpture. The head at the top is facing upward and the other heads are located around the form and facing in a variety of directions. The two arms of the main figure seem to envelop the heads or people depicted below. This gesture indicates a sense of protection, while the uplifted face of this protector has an expression of pain or anguish that could represent hardship and loss. The other faces are neutral in expression. The face at the back of  sculptureA three-dimensional work of art, or the art of making it. Such works may be carved, modeled, constructed, or cast. Sculptures can also be described as assemblage, in the round, and relief, and made in a huge variety of media. A sculptor is one who creates sculptures. (artlex.com)  could possibly represent a baby being carried in an amauti (an Inuit baby carrier) on the main figure or mother’s back.

Looking at the sculptural  formIn its widest sense, total structure; a synthesis of all the visible aspects of that structure and of the manner in which they are united to create its distinctive character. The form of a work is what enables us to perceive it. Form also refers to an element of art that is three-dimensional (height, width, and depth) and encloses volume. For example, a triangle, which is two-dimensional, is a shape, but a pyramid, which is three-dimensional, is a form. Cubes, spheres, ovoids, pyramids, cone, and cylinders are examples of various forms. Also, all of the elements of a work of art independent of their meaning. Formal elements are primary features which are not a matter of semantic significance — including colour, dimensions, line, mass, medium, scale, shape, space, texture, value; and the principles of design under which they are placed — including balance, contrast, dominance, harmony, movement, proportion, proximity, rhythm, similarity, unity, and variety. (Artlex.com)  of this work from a different viewpoint, one can envision a kneeling figure with a child in its arms, crouched above a ledge of ice. Below the  surface(an element of art) The outer or topmost boundary or layer of an object. Colours on any surface are determined by how incident rays of light strike it, and how a surface reflects, scatters, and absorbs those rays. The material qualities of a surface, as well as its form and texture further determine how it is seen and felt. (artlex.com) See also texture.  are the spirits of the creatures and the people who have gone before. The artist has not sanded away her filing lines from the surface of the stone and a sense of movement is created suggesting what could be water moving below the ice.

Tasseor Tutsweetok also creates movement by forcing the viewer’s eye to move around the  formIn its widest sense, total structure; a synthesis of all the visible aspects of that structure and of the manner in which they are united to create its distinctive character. The form of a work is what enables us to perceive it. Form also refers to an element of art that is three-dimensional (height, width, and depth) and encloses volume. For example, a triangle, which is two-dimensional, is a shape, but a pyramid, which is three-dimensional, is a form. Cubes, spheres, ovoids, pyramids, cone, and cylinders are examples of various forms. Also, all of the elements of a work of art independent of their meaning. Formal elements are primary features which are not a matter of semantic significance — including colour, dimensions, line, mass, medium, scale, shape, space, texture, value; and the principles of design under which they are placed — including balance, contrast, dominance, harmony, movement, proportion, proximity, rhythm, similarity, unity, and variety. (Artlex.com)  and discover the nuances of her work. The surface of the  sculptureA three-dimensional work of art, or the art of making it. Such works may be carved, modeled, constructed, or cast. Sculptures can also be described as assemblage, in the round, and relief, and made in a huge variety of media. A sculptor is one who creates sculptures. (artlex.com)  begs to be touched and turned. “I was told people just like to touch and feel my carvings even if the  surface(an element of art) The outer or topmost boundary or layer of an object. Colours on any surface are determined by how incident rays of light strike it, and how a surface reflects, scatters, and absorbs those rays. The material qualities of a surface, as well as its form and texture further determine how it is seen and felt. (artlex.com) See also texture.  is rough,” she says. (Tassero Tutsweetok Hessel, 2006)

“There is a consistent monumentality to Tasseor’s work,” Ingo Hessel observes. “Many works seem to be ‘monuments,’ although Tasseor herself does not identify them as such. Her best works, whether fist-sized or relatively large do not simply speak of “stoneness,” they truly are miniature mountains. This work is like a small  abstractImagery which departs from representational accuracy, to a variable range of possible degrees. Abstract artists select and then exaggerate or simplify the forms suggested by the world around them.  (Artlex.com)  Mount Rushmore; instead of immortalizing great leaders, it celebrates the Inuit sense of family.” (Hessel, 2006)

additional resources Things to Think About
  • “I portray the hardships of the first people and the transition to modern society. My carvings have the theme of changing times. I know that carving was a pastime of ancestors, to stave off loneliness. I reflect on that. You know, now that people have jobs in town, it is carving that is a lonely activity.” (Tasseor Tutsweetok in Hessel, 2006) Think about this statement.
  • Ingo Hessel says, “Tasseor’s faces seem like ghostly apparitions” (Hessel, 2006) Do you see the carved faces that way?
  • James Houston comments, “In their art we catch brief glimpses of a people who have long possessed a very different approach to the whole question of life and death.” (Houston, 1971) What do you think he means by this comment?
  • “The tough, dark grey Arviat stone resists detailed work, and sculptures usually bear the marks of axes and files.”(Hessel, 1982) In pictures of carvers, they are usually sitting on the ground working out-of-doors. Why would this be a common occurrence? Could there be some health and safety concerns in this practice?
  • According to Ingo Hessel, “For Tasseor, a flat stone plane has as much expressive power as a face.” (Hessel, 1991) How and why do you think this could be possible?
Madonna and Child
  • The animals in northern Canada are very different from those in the South. The people of the North eat caribou, seal, fish, rabbit, ptarmigan, polar bear, walrus, musk ox and beluga whale. Have you ever eaten any of these foods?   Do you ever eat raw meat as the people in the North are inclined to do? What foods do you like that some of your friends would not want to taste?  Are some of these foods raw?
Ptarmigan Musk ox
Walrus Baluga whale
  • Some concerns have been expressed and studies are being done to determine the causes and the affects of contaminants in the northern food supply. Discover more about this growing problem.
  • Could Arviat be close to the geographical centre of Canada?
  • Ingo Hessel describes Tasseor Tutsweetok’s working method as an, “unpretentious use of materials and tools” (Hessel, 2006) What do you think he means by that comment?
Online Activity
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Go to Kids’ Stop at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada for lots of activities and information about Canada’s North and its peoples, including:

 

Studio Activity

Make a soapstone sculpture

  • Save your remnants as they can be carved into small pieces of soapstone jewellery.
  • Use coarse sandpaper initially, and gradually work up to a fine grain of sandpaper as you smooth and finish the surface of the stone.

For more information on stone carving go to Wikipedia.

For tips on how to go about the process of carving stone, go to Wikipedia.

For more information about the methods used to to carve stone, go to the Stone Carving Tutorial at The Sculpture Studio.

Artist and apprentice

Tasseor Tutsweetok established herself as an artist and then she taught her daughter to follow in her footsteps. This  traditionTradition is the passing along of a culture from generation to generation, especially orally. Or, a custom or set of customs handed down in this way. The idea of heritage is related to that of tradition. Any activity — as a pattern of celebration, ritual, or other behaviour, etc. — is traditional once it is a precedent influencing comparable activities in the future. (Artlex.com)  of an artist teaching an apprentice has gone on for many centuries in studios and guilds. You may want to learn more about these traditions.

  • Think of a skill you would like to learn from another artist.
  • Make contact with this artist or attend a workshop that this artist is teaching.
  • Look into mentorship programs that may be available in your community and enrol in one to meet other artists.
  • In the presence of a mentor, take notes, watch carefully, work hard and ask questions to try to glean as much information as you can!

Carving imaginary sculptures

Tasseor Tutsweetok says, “I like imaginary things rather than realistic things.” (Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok cited in Hessel, 2006)

Sculpting

  • Now, to avoid any preconceived ideas or plans, trade your stone with a neighbour.
  • Once you have an idea begin carving material away from your clay form.

Carving 1Carving 2

  • As you are working, remember to rotate your stone to ensure you are always thinking about the sculpture from all sides.

OR

Build an inukshuk

Inukshuk

Go to the Nunavut Development Corporation, and read the web page The Inukshuk - Arctic Canada's Sacred Symbol to learn about inukshuks, rock markers made by Canada’s  InuitInuit means “the people” in Inukititut, the language of the people of northern Canada. Go to http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/pr/info/info114_e.html for further information.  people. The inukshuks are created by piling up rocks in the  formIn its widest sense, total structure; a synthesis of all the visible aspects of that structure and of the manner in which they are united to create its distinctive character. The form of a work is what enables us to perceive it. Form also refers to an element of art that is three-dimensional (height, width, and depth) and encloses volume. For example, a triangle, which is two-dimensional, is a shape, but a pyramid, which is three-dimensional, is a form. Cubes, spheres, ovoids, pyramids, cone, and cylinders are examples of various forms. Also, all of the elements of a work of art independent of their meaning. Formal elements are primary features which are not a matter of semantic significance — including colour, dimensions, line, mass, medium, scale, shape, space, texture, value; and the principles of design under which they are placed — including balance, contrast, dominance, harmony, movement, proportion, proximity, rhythm, similarity, unity, and variety. (Artlex.com)  of a person. Since the land is generally flat in Canada’s North, these sculptural forms can be seen for long distances, acting as markers or directional guide-posts.

Gather a  varietyPrinciple of design concerned with difference or contrasts.  of flat stones in your community. As a group build an Inukshuk for a garden or entranceway to a public building.



Scaffitto drawing

 

When Tasseor Tutsweetok carves lines into her stone sculptures they are a lighter  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  than the body of the stone. Try working with the idea of scratching away the  surface(an element of art) The outer or topmost boundary or layer of an object. Colours on any surface are determined by how incident rays of light strike it, and how a surface reflects, scatters, and absorbs those rays. The material qualities of a surface, as well as its form and texture further determine how it is seen and felt. (artlex.com) See also texture.  by  drawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (Artlex.com)  on a  clayMud; moist, sticky dirt. In ceramics, clay is the basic material, usually referring to any of a certain variety of mixtures of such ingredients — fine-grained, firm earthy material that is plastic when wet, brittle when dry, and very hard when heated. There is a temperature with ceramic clays at which their particles fuse (vitrification), and this is most commonly controlled by heating (firing) them in a kiln. The most common types of ceramic clays are earthenware (terra cotta when fired, terra cruda when not), stonewares, and porcelain. (Artlex.com)  pot or a  clayMud; moist, sticky dirt. In ceramics, clay is the basic material, usually referring to any of a certain variety of mixtures of such ingredients — fine-grained, firm earthy material that is plastic when wet, brittle when dry, and very hard when heated. There is a temperature with ceramic clays at which their particles fuse (vitrification), and this is most commonly controlled by heating (firing) them in a kiln. The most common types of ceramic clays are earthenware (terra cotta when fired, terra cruda when not), stonewares, and porcelain. (Artlex.com)  slab from which you will create a  sculptureA three-dimensional work of art, or the art of making it. Such works may be carved, modeled, constructed, or cast. Sculptures can also be described as assemblage, in the round, and relief, and made in a huge variety of media. A sculptor is one who creates sculptures. (artlex.com)  or container.

  • Roll out a slab of clay and cut it into a square or rectangular shape, or make a small clay pot.

Go to the following websites for more ideas on scaffitto  drawingDepiction of shapes and forms on a surface chiefly by means of lines. Colour and shading may be included. A major fine art technique in itself, drawing is the basis of all pictorial representation, and an early step in most art activities. Though an integral part of most painting, drawing is generally differentiated from painting by the dominance of line over mass. There are many sorts of drawing techniques, varying according to the effect the artist wants, and depending on whether the drawing is an end in itself — an independent and finished work of art -- or a preliminary to some other medium or form — although distinct from the final product, such drawings also have intrinsic artistic value. Preliminary drawings include various exercises (e.g., contour drawing, gesture drawing, figure drawing, drawing from the flat), as well as sketches and studies, cartoons and underdrawings. (Artlex.com)  on pottery:

Science Behind the Art

By: Ken Ashton, Saskatchewan Ministry of Energy and Resources, and Janis Dale, Department of Geology, University of Regina

Head Cluster is carved from soapstone, a  metamorphicPertaining to, produced by, or exhibiting, certain changes which minerals or rocks may have undergone since their original deposition; -- especially applied to the recrystallization which sedimentary rocks have undergone through the influence of heat and pressure, after which they are called metamorphic rocks. The state or quality of being metamorphic; the process by which the material of rock masses has been more or less recrystallized by heat, pressure, etc., as in the change of sedimentary limestone to marble. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  rock that has a unique two-fold history. It begins deep within the earth when periodic melting in the mantle produces mafic (dark coloured) and ultramafic (very dark coloured) magma which ascends into the earth’s crust. Mafic varieties of magma either crystallize at depth as sheet-like dykes or larger masses of gabbro, or extrude onto the surface as the  volcanicOf or pertaining to a volcano or volcanoes; as, volcanic heat. Produced by a volcano, or, more generally, by igneous agencies; as, volcanic tufa. Changed or affected by the heat of a volcano. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  equivalent, basalt. Such mafic magma is typically composed of a mixture of the  mineralsAn inorganic species or substance occurring in nature, having a definite chemical composition and usually a distinct crystalline form. Rocks, except certain glassy igneous forms, are either simple minerals or aggregates of minerals.  (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  pyroxene, plagioclase and olivine. Ultramafic varieties do not contain the lighter-weight plagioclase, which makes them much denser than mafic magma and, therefore less likely to reach the  surface(an element of art) The outer or topmost boundary or layer of an object. Colours on any surface are determined by how incident rays of light strike it, and how a surface reflects, scatters, and absorbs those rays. The material qualities of a surface, as well as its form and texture further determine how it is seen and felt. (artlex.com) See also texture.  as  volcanicOf or pertaining to a volcano or volcanoes; as, volcanic heat. Produced by a volcano, or, more generally, by igneous agencies; as, volcanic tufa. Changed or affected by the heat of a volcano. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  rocks. Thus, they more commonly occur as dykes and masses that crystallized at depth. At this stage of their history, these  igneousPertaining to, having the nature of, fire; containing fire; resembling fire; as, an igneous appearance. Resulting from, or produced by, the action of fire; as, lavas and basalt are igneous rocks. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  rocks are much too hard to carve.

The second part of the story begins when these mafic and ultramafic rocks undergo changes due to interactions with water under the new temperature and pressure conditions that characterize their new home in the shallow crust (i.e. metamorphism). Although the original  igneousPertaining to, having the nature of, fire; containing fire; resembling fire; as, an igneous appearance. Resulting from, or produced by, the action of fire; as, lavas and basalt are igneous rocks. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)   mineralsAn inorganic species or substance occurring in nature, having a definite chemical composition and usually a distinct crystalline form. Rocks, except certain glassy igneous forms, are either simple minerals or aggregates of minerals.  (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  pyroxene and olivine can withstand very high temperatures in the mantle without breaking down, they are quite unstable at low temperatures in the presence of water, which is typically released from water-rich sedimentary rocks during metamorphism. In such environments, pyroxene and olivine are commonly replaced by a variety of  mineralsAn inorganic species or substance occurring in nature, having a definite chemical composition and usually a distinct crystalline form. Rocks, except certain glassy igneous forms, are either simple minerals or aggregates of minerals.  (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  including serpentine, talc, chlorite, tremolite, carbonate and magnetite. The specific mixture depends on the specific  compositionArrangements of elements in a work of art.  of the original igneous rock, the amount of water and other fluids available, and by the temperature and pressure conditions imposed by the depth at which the rock is undergoing metamorphism. All of these minerals, with the exception of the tremolite and minor magnetite, are soft and easily scratched with common metal implements, which make such rocks ideal for carving.

The stone used in this  sculptureA three-dimensional work of art, or the art of making it. Such works may be carved, modeled, constructed, or cast. Sculptures can also be described as assemblage, in the round, and relief, and made in a huge variety of media. A sculptor is one who creates sculptures. (artlex.com)  and others by Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok differs from many other soapstones in that it is grey in colour, has a fine-grained homogeneous appearance that is generally free of veins and fractures, and is somewhat harder than most. A likely source of this artist’s stone is a small, open pit,  surface(an element of art) The outer or topmost boundary or layer of an object. Colours on any surface are determined by how incident rays of light strike it, and how a surface reflects, scatters, and absorbs those rays. The material qualities of a surface, as well as its form and texture further determine how it is seen and felt. (artlex.com) See also texture.  operation on the southern shore of Chesterfield Inlet, a major waterway in Nunavut that drains the Thelon River and Baker Lake into Hudson Bay, approximately 300 km north of Arviat. The carving stone is quarried from about 10 m x10 m bodies of metamorphosed ultramafic material that were probably broken up from a larger dyke or mass.  MicroscopicOf or pertaining to the microscope or to microscopy; made with a microscope; as, microscopic observation. Able to see extremely minute objects. Very small; visible only by the aid of a microscope; as, a microscopic insect. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  examination of several samples reveals that this stone typically contains relatively coarse (2-5 millimetre) chlorite, some with remnant cores of original pyroxene, and tremolite grains in a fine matrix of chlorite, talc, and rare carbonate. The relatively large abundance of tremolite, together with the absence of serpentine, a yellow-green mineral that is the most common alteration product of olivine, is probably responsible for the grey  colourProduced by light of various wavelengths, and when light strikes an object and reflects back to the eyes. Colour is an element of art with three properties: (1) hue or tint, the colour name, e.g., red, yellow, blue, etc.: (2) intensity, the purity and strength of a colour, e.g., bright red or dull red; and (3) value, the lightness or darkness of a colour. When the spectrum is organized as a color wheel, the colours are divided into groups called primary, secondary and intermediate (or tertiary) colours; analogous and complementary, and also as warm and cool colours. Colours can be objectively described as saturated, clear, cool, warm, deep, subdued, grayed, tawny, mat, glossy, monochrome, multicolored, particolored, variegated, or polychromed. Some words used to describe colours are more subjective (subject to personal opinion or taste), such as: exciting, sweet, saccharine, brash, garish, ugly, beautiful, cute, fashionable, pretty, and sublime. Sometimes people speak of colours when they are actually refering to pigments, what they are made of (various natural or synthetic substances), their relative permanence, etc. (Artlex.com)  of this  varietyPrinciple of design concerned with difference or contrasts.  of soapstone. Since tremolite is not as soft as the other replacement minerals, its abundance in this rock has also produced a relatively hard  varietyPrinciple of design concerned with difference or contrasts.  of soapstone. Thus, sculptures made from such stone have a greater dependence on the original  shapeAn element of art, it is an enclosed space defined and determined by other art elements such as line, colour, value, and texture. In painting and drawing, shapes may take on the appearance of a solid three-dimensional object even though they are limited to two dimensions — length and width. This two-dimensional character of shape distinguishes it from form, which has depth as well as length and width. Examples of shapes include: circle, oval, and oblong; polygons such as triangle, square, rectangle, rhombus, trapezium, trapezoid, pentagon, hexagon, heptagon, octagon, nonagon, decagon, undecagon, dodecagon, etc.; and such other kinds of shapes as amorphous, biomorphous, and concretion. (Artlex.com)  of the starting material and generally incorporate less detail than those made from softer varieties of soapstone.

The ultramafic blocks from which this carving stone was collected were not the only rocks in the  quarryTo dig or take from a quarry (a place, cavern, or pit where stone is taken from the rock or ledge, or dug from the earth, for building or other purposes; a stone pit.); as, to quarry marble. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  to have undergone metamorphism. The original ultramafic dyke or mass was emplaced within  graniticLike granite in composition, color, etc.; having the nature of granite; as, granitic texture. Consisting of granite; as, granitic mountains. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  gneiss, a more felsic (light coloured) rock surrounding the ultramafic blocks that also has a two-fold history. It began with the  igneousPertaining to, having the nature of, fire; containing fire; resembling fire; as, an igneous appearance. Resulting from, or produced by, the action of fire; as, lavas and basalt are igneous rocks. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)   crystallizationThe act or process by which a substance in solidifying assumes the form and structure of a crystal, or becomes crystallized. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  of a felsic magma at a shallow level of the earth’s crust to  formIn its widest sense, total structure; a synthesis of all the visible aspects of that structure and of the manner in which they are united to create its distinctive character. The form of a work is what enables us to perceive it. Form also refers to an element of art that is three-dimensional (height, width, and depth) and encloses volume. For example, a triangle, which is two-dimensional, is a shape, but a pyramid, which is three-dimensional, is a form. Cubes, spheres, ovoids, pyramids, cone, and cylinders are examples of various forms. Also, all of the elements of a work of art independent of their meaning. Formal elements are primary features which are not a matter of semantic significance — including colour, dimensions, line, mass, medium, scale, shape, space, texture, value; and the principles of design under which they are placed — including balance, contrast, dominance, harmony, movement, proportion, proximity, rhythm, similarity, unity, and variety. (Artlex.com)  granite, a rock composed of the  mineralsAn inorganic species or substance occurring in nature, having a definite chemical composition and usually a distinct crystalline form. Rocks, except certain glassy igneous forms, are either simple minerals or aggregates of minerals.  (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  plagioclase, quartz, potassium feldspar, and biotite. This  graniteA crystalline, granular rock, consisting of quartz, feldspar, and mica, and usually of a whitish, grayish, or flesh-red colour. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  was subsequently buried deeper in the earth’s crust where the higher temperatures and pressures of metamorphism caused it to partially melt. The  graniteA crystalline, granular rock, consisting of quartz, feldspar, and mica, and usually of a whitish, grayish, or flesh-red colour. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  subsequently cooled again and recrystallized, but now displayed even lighter-coloured, thin layers of mainly large potassium  feldsparA name given to a group of minerals, closely related in crystalline form, and all silicates of alumina with either potash, soda, lime, or, in one case, baryta. They occur in crystals and crystalline masses, vitreous in luster, and breaking rather easily in two directions at right angles to each other, or nearly so. The colours are usually white or nearly white, flesh-red, bluish, or greenish. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  and  quartzA form of silica, or silicon dioxide (SiO2), occurring in hexagonal crystals, which are commonly colourless and transparent, but sometimes also yellow, brown, purple, green, and of other colours; also in cryptocrystalline massive forms varying in colour and degree of transparency, being sometimes opaque. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  grains formed during the partial melting process. It was only after the formation of this  graniticLike granite in composition, color, etc.; having the nature of granite; as, granitic texture. Consisting of granite; as, granitic mountains. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  gneiss that the ultramafic rock was emplaced and underwent its phase of burial, metamorphism, and break up into the resulting blocks seen today at the  quarryTo dig or take from a quarry (a place, cavern, or pit where stone is taken from the rock or ledge, or dug from the earth, for building or other purposes; a stone pit.); as, to quarry marble. (The Online Plain Text English Dictionary)  on the southern shore of Chesterfield Inlet.

References

Hanmer, S., Sandeman, H.A., Tella, S., Ryan, J.J., Hadlari, T., and Mills, A. (1999): Preliminary petrography of current and potential carving stone, Gibson Lake-Cross Bay area, Northwest Territories (Kivalliq region, Nunavut); in Current Research 1999-C; Geological Survey of Canada, p. 77-86.

 

 

 

References

Brandson, Lorraine.  ‘Carved from the Land. ‘ Diocese of Churchill Hudson Bay 1994.

Driscoll, Bernadette.  ‘Eskimo Point Sculpture: The Winnipeg Art Gallery Collection.’  in Eskimo Point/ Arviat. The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, 1982.

Hessel, Ingo.  ‘Essay.’ in Visions of Power.  Exhibition catalogue.  York Quay Gallery, Leo Kamon Gallery, Harbourfront, Toronto, Ontario. 1991.

Hessel, Ingo.  Inuit Art.  Toronto, Ontario:  Douglas and McIntyre, 1998.

Hessel Ingo.  Arctic Spirit.  Exhibition catalogue.  Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona. 2006.

Houston, James.  ‘To find life in a stone.’  in Sculpture/Inuit: Masterworks of the Canadian Arctic.  Toronto, Ontario:  Canadian Eskimo Arts Council, University of Toronto Press, 1971.

Zepp, Norman.  ‘Tasseor Tutsweetok, Lucy.’  The Canadian Encyclopedia.  Retrieved from the Internet on June 13, 2008 from:   http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/index.cfm?PgNm=TCE&Params=A1ARTA0010118.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning