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Tundra and social practice

Daron Letts
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (Jan 30/06) - Nature, history and culture form the theme of an ongoing multi-media art exhibition in Iqaluit's Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum.

"Encounter" features paintings, drawings, photography and a video installation by Norwegian artist Patrick Huse.

The content of the work expresses how colonial society has imposed its image on the natural circumpolar landscape.

"Nature is a notion that implies a wider scope than landscape alone," the artist writes in an account of his work. "The project Encounter builds on the role and presence of nature in society, and the influence it has in practice, in the realm of culture."

Juxtapositions of photographs, such as a comparison of ancient rugged seaside cliffs with run down apartment buildings in Greenland, pull the viewer into a reflection on natural history and the technological change that accompanies economic globalization.

The exhibit has also appeared in Norway, Iceland and Greenland since 2003.

Museum manager and curator Brian Lunger met Huse in 2002 while the artist was on a research trip in Nunavut collecting information and inspiration for his art.

Lunger soon discussed bringing Huse's exhibition to Iqaluit. The exhibition opened last November.

While in Nunavut, Huse travelled to Resolute, Devon Island, Cornwallis Island and the Iqaluit area.

Encounter runs until Feb. 26. The museum's permanent collection includes historical photos, Inuit artifacts, clothing, tools and artwork such as carvings, sculptures and prints from the Baffin region.