Inuit Art

September 16, 2020

LOT 67

Lot 67


Lot 67 Details
SHUVINAI ASHOONA (1961-), Cape Dorset / Kinngait


coloured pencil drawing
signed in syllabics
25.5 x 19.75 in — 64.8 x 48.3 cm

Estimate $1,500-$2,500

Realised: $6,600
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images

Feheley Fine Arts, 2012
Miriam Shiell Fine Art, Toronto


Known for her colourful, bold and highly imaginative works on paper, Shuvinai Ashoona combines scenes of daily Inuit life with personal memories and collective myth. Ashoona has a knack for representation that reveals the very human balance between warmth, optimism, longing and melancholy. Her images have a tendency to extend their reach beyond the picture frame, connecting directly to the thoughts and emotions of the people who view them.

This drawing, and lot 71, Composition (Group of Figures) are characteristically colourful and full of texture, acting as perfect examples of a uniquely bold and finely tuned style for which Ashoona has become known. In both cases, the subjects’ gazes are directed away from our own, adding a layer of mystery to the works that calls out for personal interpretation.

In Holding a Drawing of the Earth (Lot 67), we are presented with an artist's rendition of an artist. Surrounded and adorned by a colourful array of planetary orbs, the subject stands at gentle attention, beckoning us to bear witness to her depiction of a majestic and mournful world. In the top right-hand corner, Ashoona has included a tiny figure and three stars. Like an orbiting totem, personification of an inner voice, or embodiment of ancestors, the figure fuels the imagination and adds another layer of mystery to the story being told.

The tight frame of stacked figures in Composition (Group of Figures), Lot 71, offers a snapshot of community and diversity, where all of the action happens in a place that only Ashoona and her subjects can see.

Please also see Lot 71.

Alex Bowron is a freelance art-writer and manager of programs and partnerships at Canadian Art. She holds a Masters degree in critical cultural theory from the University of Leeds, UK.


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 67

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.