Paul Toolooktook (born 1947) Bird/Human Transformation

Paul Toolooktook (born 1947) Bird/Human Transformation no date, stone, 6.2 x 4.8 x 2.2 cm. Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, 1988 ©Paul Toolooktook 2001

An Inuit Perspective: Baker Lake Sculpture

May 26 to December 2, 2001


An Inuit Perspective: Baker Lake Sculpture is organized by Itsamittakarvik: Inuit Heritage Centre, Nunavut in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario and and guest curated by Marie Bouchard. It is the first major exhibition of visual art to be organized in collaboration with the Inuit, and is guest curated by Marie Bouchard.

The exhibition features 33 sculptures by 33 carvers from Baker Lake selected from the Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The exhibition, which opened in Baker Lake on July 1, 2000, is now touring nationally under the auspices of the AGO.


An Inuit Perspective is a welcome opportunity to engage in an exchange of ideas about contemporary art across cultural borders. Through the simple act of placing works of art in new contexts - from their place of origin (Baker Lake) to the collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario (in downtown Toronto), and back again to Baker Lake - art shows its many changing faces. Indeed, from artist''s hands to museum storage vault and finally to enclosed display cases, the objects themselves change in their very essence in the different places they are seen. Lively interpretation is, after all, about the expression of ideas from various points of view. Offering our collection for interpretation is a central function of the AGO. Encouraging diverse points of view underlines the rich variety of the world of art itself. New interpretations allow our eyes to see a familiar landscape as if we are seeing it for the first time. To place our collection in front of the careful gaze of interpreters from within Inuit culture, with the eyes and sensibilities of the makers themselves, is for us a privilege.

Matthew Teitelbaum
Art Gallery of Ontario

Generously Supported by

Organized by

The exhibition tour is supported by

The Department of Canadian Heritage, Museums Assistance Program

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