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Wall Hanging – Waiting for Husband

Curated Submission
Baker Lake, Nunavut, Canada
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
87 x 70
Materials & techniques
Wool, glass beads; Felted, appliquéd, embroidered
Gift of Enid Rae MacLachlan
Textile Museum of Canada T96.0059
To create this wall hanging, the artist appliquéd felted wool cloth, called Stroud cloth, on a wool background to represent the figures, and embellished them with bead embroidery and feather-stitch embroidery to suggest the colours and textures of the autumn Arctic tundra. In the image, a mother with her child on her back looks out from a river’s edge, waiting for her husband to return. The husband can be seen in the distance, sitting in a kayak.

The maker of this piece, Janet Anautilik Nungnik, was born in 1954 in the Kivalliq region of what is now Nunavut. A member of the inland Padlermiut (“people of the willows”), she spent her early years learning the traditional skills and semi-nomadic lifestyle of her people. In the early 1970s, she learned to make wall hangings in Baker Lake by watching and helping her mother, Martha Tiktak Anautalik, a respected first-generation artist. Another teacher was the great Utkusiksalingmiut artist Jessie Oonark, whom Nungnik knew and assisted during the final years of her life. Nungnik has stated that she intends her work as a celebration of the Inuit connection with the land.
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