Shuvinai Ashoona: Qanuqtuurunnarniq

Shuvinai Ashoona, Composition (Showing Drawing of Bones), 2020, coloured pencil, ink, and pastel, 81.3 x 127.3 cm. Collection of the Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough.


Works by Shuvinai Ashoona
Curated by Naulaq LeDrew

Instructional Centre Vitrines, University of Toronto Scarborough
On exhibition to March 31, 2023
Presented by the Doris McCarthy Gallery

Public Reception: Saturday, October 22, 2022, 1 – 4 pm
With curatorial talk, traditional throat singing and drumming performance, country food, and Inuit artisan market

World-renowned third-generation Inuk artist Shuvinai Ashoona’s distinct style dynamically blends traditional Inuit motifs with everyday life, from a deeply personal perspective. Celebrated for her inventive drawings and fearless experimentation, the artist does not act as a spokesperson for her culture, but rather a complex and sensitive storyteller, skillfully combining reality and imagination. The exemplary selections from her oeuvre on exhibition in Qanuqtuurunnarniq were selected for acquisition to the Doris McCarthy Gallery Collection in 2021 by University of Toronto Inuk Knowledge Keeper and multidisciplinary artist Naulaq LeDrew. Ashoona’s vignettes provide glimpses into life in the North, while effectively demonstrating the innovative and resilient qualities of Inuit culture and artistry.

For Qanuqtuurunnarniq, LeDrew has selected related objects from her personal collection to complement and expand upon Ashoona’s drawings. Audio recordings by LeDrew accompany the works and objects, adding further context, connections, and personal history to the exhibition.

We’re celebrating Qanuqtuurunnarniq with a public reception on Saturday, October 22. The afternoon will include a talk by curator Naulaq LeDrew, followed by a performance by throat singers Arnakuluit (Tamara Takpannie and Janice Ulaaju) and drummer David Serkoak. Country food, prepared in partnership with Indigenous Chef Joseph Shawana and Culinaria Research Centre at the University of Toronto Scarborough, will be offered. An Inuit artisan market will run throughout the afternoon, featuring Vanessa Brousseau, Meeka Uniuqsaraq, and others.

Free, all are welcome! Learn more about the reception and those participating, and register to attend, by visiting the event page. Please see the DMG website for visitor information and up-to-date COVID guidelines.

ASL interpretation and other access features available by request through registration or by contacting This is a relaxed reception, attendees can come and go as they please. Seating will be available. The Instructional Centre is wheelchair accessible.

Doris McCarthy Gallery
University of Toronto Scarborough
1265 Military Trail
Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4

Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 11 am to 4 pm; Wednesday, 11 am to 7 pm; Saturday, 11 to 5 pm. Admission is free. Open to the public. The gallery is wheelchair accessible.

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Image descriptions:
1) Six figures stand alongside a drawing of a summer camp tent, known as a tupiq. To the right of the image, a young child is seen peering from their parent’s amauti. The lush green grass depicted in the drawing contrasts the background of black and white stones.