Intercreate.org, Te Matahiapo Indigenous Research Organisation, Creative New Zealand and the Western Institute of Technology at Taranki are honoured to host two Nunavut (Canadian Inuit) artists to the SCANZ residency: Jesse Tungilik and Stacey Aglok MacDonald. They will attend the SCANZ2015:water*peace international celebration of water and peace in Nga Motu New Plymouth from January 17th to February 1st. Both embrace the difficult and complex questions of what identity means in current society.
The Nunavut Territory is the newest territory in Cananda, and one of the largest and least populated regions in North America and Europe. Nunavut have lived there for at least 4000 years. The land claims agreement with the government of 1992 was ratified by 85% of Nanavut and the territory officially established in 1999.
Both artists will have work on show on the final weekend of SCANZ, Saturday 31st and Sunday 1st February in Huatoki Plaza and Puke Ariki landing. Aglok MacDonald’s video work will be projected under the road at the sea end of Puke Ariki landing, and the site for work by Jesse Tungilik will be revealed on the day.
Jesse Tungilik is a Pangnirtung, Nunavut-based bench jeweler and contemporary Inuit artist who grew up in several different communities in Nunavut and the North West Territories. His first foray into the Inuit art world was when he was just eight years old working after school at the Matchbox Ceramics Gallery in Rankin Inlet, and had his first show a year later at a bank lobby in Yellowknife, NWT.
He then took a hiatus from art to pursue education and his other passions such as travel and environmental and cultural advocacy. These passions brought him far and wide from the vast ice fields of Antarctica, to the Moai of Easter Island to the Steppes of Mongolia. He has worked extensively with indigenous people’s organizations both professionally through positions with the national Inuit organization Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the National Inuit Youth Council, the Arctic Council Indigenous Peoples Secretariat, and personally; participating in Indigenous youth exchanges in Norway and Finland.
Jesse rekindled his love of creating art in his mid-20s working at the Aayuraa Jewelry Studio in Iqaluit where he was mentored by master artist Mathew Nuqingaq. Jesse has drawn inspiration from his many adventures and encounters with indigenous peoples from around the world to create art that reflected his experiences. He has strived to push the boundaries of his creative practice by experimenting with many different art forms and media. In addition to the jewelry that he makes primarily out of silver, ivory, baleen and muskox horn, he has painted public murals, made mixed media sculptures, created political assemblage pieces, dabbled in charcoal and oil pastel portraiture, and has written short fiction stories.
His work has been exhibited at Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association Art Festivals in Iqaluit, Nunavut and at the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik, NWT and has also been featured in publications such as Up Here Magazine and Northern Public Affairs Magazine. Currently, his focus has shifted to arts administration working for the Government of Nunavut Department of Economic Development & Transportation as Intern Manager of Cultural Industries.
Stacey Aglok MacDonald is originally from Kugluktuk, a small community in western Nunavut. She first became involved in filmmaking in 2004 as a production assistant and character on the documentary series Staking The Claim: Dreams, Democracy and Canadian Inuit, which is now used as educational curriculum in high schools across the Nunavut territory.
Other projects that she has led have included training youth in over 20 communities across Arctic Canada in film production and editing, and producing workshops for youth on Acting and Performance as well as Inuvialuit Drum Dancing.
In 2012, Stacey won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Short Drama for her 17-minute live-action film Throat Song. She has produced a number of music videos in collaboration with other Nunavut-based filmmakers and musicians including The Jerry Cans and The Trade Offs. Today she is producing and directing two Inuktitut television series which are broadcast on the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, one of which is a popular youth-oriented television show called Qanurli? and the other is a call-in talk show called Qanuq Isumavit.
She has a feature film in development and plans on writing and directing a new short film in the coming year. Stacey currently resides in Iqaluit, Nunavut with her 6 year old daughter.