ICELIGHT Igloolik Isuma Productions and Arnait Ikkajurtigiit (Women’s Video Workshop)
29 July – 17 September 2000

Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens

We just started. We are in a hurry because our elders are going. Knowledge is going. Pretty soon we'll all be buried on the hill.

–Zacharias Kunuk

Working on the cusp between the past and present, independent video artists in Igloolik have, over the past 10 years, created a lush body of media work that offers a complex portrait of their people and the embodied knowledge of their culture. The result is a radical vision of their contemporary lived experience and an elaborate reconstruction of the past. These video tapes resonate like a series of delicately drawn spiritual and political video “maps", unfolding layer after layer, on a journey of knowing and understanding.

ICELIGHT brings together a selection of original video tapes produced by Igloolik Isuma Productions and Arnait Ikkajurtigiit (Women's Video Workshop), who work in and around Igloolik, in the newly created territory of Nunavut.

Working collaboratively with a core group of community members, including a number of elders, Igloolik Isuma Productions recreates scenes of Inuit life from the recent past, depicting stories set in the 1930s and 1940s, after white whalers and priests had arrived, but before families had given up their life on the land for settlement in permanent villages. The Women's Video Workshop producers excavate the past through storytelling, songs, dreams and rituals, moving gracefully between the old ways and the new realities.

Deftly blending documentary and drama, infused with the energy of the weather and the landscape, the works in ICELIGHT are alive with the past, rich with the present and provide a critical and palpable link to the future.

Co-curated by Su Ditta and Peggy Gale