Katherine Takpannie is an Inuk photographer whose family is originally from Apex Hill, Nunavut. Takpannie however, was born in Montreal, QC and identifies as an urban Inuk. Takpannie had always been inspired by Annie Pootoogook (1969-2016) and feels that Annie’s work visually registered contemporary moments of Inuit life from the continued impacts of colonization. Takpannie has studied her history, culture and language, and uses her knowledge to showcase the urban Inuk perspective of a western world through the eyes of her camera lens. Takpannie’s photographic practice aims to highlight modernized Inuit. Having lived most of her life in Ottawa, her work speaks to the Ottawa that she sees.
AGO: What was the inspiration for this artwork or series?
Takpannie: "The forest images are from a series walkthrough of Richelieu Vanier Park, in which a rare urban sugar shack is located. Growing up in “little Nunavut” (aka Vanier), the Richelieu park offered a unique little getaway from the city. There’s a still silence of nature, where between every two trees was a doorway into a new world. I thought myself in a lush place, the roots ran deep and life prospered in the trees. A place I could restore myself.
The image of the two men overlooking downtown Ottawa from a rooftop offers a unique perspective of the city I have called home for the past couple of decades. Moments of reflection, I can always take a few."
AGO: Tell us about a place or a space where you most love making your work?
Takpannie: I am always happy being outside. I think nature’s imagination is so much better than man’s. If you love nature, you will find beauty everywhere. And with every walk in nature, one receives far more than he seeks. Time spent outdoors is never wasted.
AGO: Are you in dialogue with any other artists or creative peers about your practice? If so, how does this dialogue feed your work?
Takpannie: I have been recently in contact with a few other creative peers, more so in the sense of the issues currently going on in the world right now. I have once again started creating conversational pieces around a lot of political injustices. Creating these images helps me to express and come to terms with my own thoughts and emotions. It’s an outlet, but also a way to open up conversation or build awareness of ongoing injustices that are being faced.
Katherine Takpannie is an Ottawa based Inuk photographer.
Follow Katherine @k.takpannie