Niap Uncategory 14 Land, 61 × 91,4 cm, 2019.
Photo : courtesy of the artist & Marion Scott Gallery, Vancouver

The interdisciplinary practice of Niap (also known as Nancy Saunders) goes beyond the scope of painting without losing sight of the symbolic force of this mode of expression as an “open window through which history can be observed.” The Montréal-based, Kuujjuaq-born Inuk artist is interested not only in the tensions between history and contemporaneity but also in the “zones of contact” that they engender. Dialogue is central to her work; the back-and-forths between disciplines, publics, cultures, and temporalities colour the entirety of her thoroughly contemporary practice. Avoiding the pitfalls of a polarizing or victimist critique, Niap takes a benevolent approach to rebuilding the connections between past and future, often overturning in a single work any notions of artistic tradition or modernity, Indigenous or not.

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This article also appears in the issue 102 - (Re)seeing Painting

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