South Baffin: Where Art and Culture Connect

This unique itinerary developed by One Ocean Expeditions and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection celebrates the importance and kinship of Inuit art through a voyage to the South Baffin region of Nunavut. This opportunity to explore South Baffin Island was developed to support the work of Inuit artists of this region and to celebrate the launch of the Iniga Ilagiit virtual museum website, which will launch by the fall of 2019. Dr. Nancy Campbell, guest curator at McMichael and writer on contemporary and Inuit art, will join the onboard team to offer insight into the Inuit art world for guests onboard.

Join curators and renowned artists on the ‘South Baffin Explorer’ voyage. Experience art, wildlife and culture in small, guided groups onboard RCGS Resolute, 30 July – 09 August, 2019.

Inukshuk on Baffin Island. Image credit: Roger Pimenta
Inukshuk on Baffin Island. Image credit: Roger Pimenta

Since the establishment of numerous art co-operatives in the North in the mid-1980s, there has been a concerted effort to preserve and promote the beautiful and distinctive sculptures and artworks created by the Inuit people on Baffin Island. Many of these artworks reflect and are inspired by the wild and dramatic environment in which the Inuit live and work. Iniga Ilagiit has been created to continue this connection and preserve Inuit art for generations to come.

What you can experience: 

Travel the waterways and stop along South Baffin Island to explore the home of polar bears, indigenous cultures and art. This expedition cruise offers a chance to see the spectacular land and seascapes of the Canadian Arctic. Take the time to visit the Kenojuak Cultural Centre, which showcases the talents of the Inuit communities, whose rich output is a major focus of this unique and highly engaging trip. Canadian artist David McEown will join you onboard as Artist in Residence, utilizing watercolour to explore and express the Arctic wilderness. His paintings of the Polar Regions can be found in collections world-wide.

About Iniga Ilagiit:

Inuit artists from Kinngait (Cape Dorset) have created thousands of drawings. Over 100,000 are held at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection on behalf of The West Baffin Eskimo co-operative. Almost 4,000 of these works, as well as 250 photographs, will be available digitally through an interactive website. This unique site is named Iniga Ilagiit, meaning “a place for family” where you will be able to browse and also create your own virtual exhibitions to share.

Iniga Ilagiit is a space for Inuit and Northern communities to connect with their own art and contribute to the important work of sharing Kinngait history and culture.

Dr Nancy Campbell

With a PhD from York University, analyzing the drawings of third generation Inuit Art, Dr. Nancy Campbell has been an independent curator and writer on contemporary and Inuit art since 1993, working as a curator and director for a number of prestigious institutions. Nancy has produced numerous exhibitions, including a three-part series at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery that connected Inuit art with the Canadian contemporary mainstream, as well as the landmark Annie Pootoogook at The Power Plant in Toronto. Most recently, Nancy produced Annie Pootoogook: Cutting Ice at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

Guests on this voyage will also be joined by our watercolour Arist-in-Residence:

David McEown
(Creator of polar bear watercolour feature image)

Canadian artist David McEown has used the medium of watercolour for the past 30 years to explore and express many of this earth’s wilderness areas. His paintings from Antarctica to the North Pole are represented in collections worldwide.

David McEown sharing top tips for sketching polar bears.
David McEown sharing top tips for sketching polar bears.

David is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design and an elected member of the Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, which in 2005 and 2018 awarded him the society’s prestigious A.J. Casson Medal. He is also a sought after teacher and has conducted workshops and multimedia presentations for numerous art societies and museums sharing his reverence for nature and passion for the creative act of painting.

Inspired by the Arctic Landscape you will explore watercolour’s magical flowing spontaneity and learn essential techniques as you paint directly from nature. Enhance your colour and spatial perception and way of “seeing” with this travel-friendly medium.

For more information on Inuit art exhibitions click here.