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    • Nika Vaughan

      Image: An artist response to One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk

      As an artist response to One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, it was hard to wrap my head around how to approach these works. I wanted to make my best effort, and for me that usually means taking risks. My work is not focused on details, but rather I work quickly and try to feel my way into the subject matter, capturing emotion through gesture, mark making and areas of detail. After much deliberation I ended up jumping in, working from a still photograph of Noah Piugattuk, against a snowy horizon line, gazing into the distance towards some unknown point, as small figures behind him walk away.

    • Tarralik Duffy

      Image: Kapuivik is my home

      Tarralik is a multidisciplinary artist and writer who lives and works between Salliq (Coral Harbour), NU and Saskatoon, SK. From jewellery and apparel to graphic works, Duffy's creative output shares distinctly Inuit experiences, which are often infused with a dose of humour and pop culture.

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Nika Vaughan

About

Image: An artist response to One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk

As an artist response to One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk, it was hard to wrap my head around how to approach these works. I wanted to make my best effort, and for me that usually means taking risks. My work is not focused on details, but rather I work quickly and try to feel my way into the subject matter, capturing emotion through gesture, mark making and areas of detail. After much deliberation I ended up jumping in, working from a still photograph of Noah Piugattuk, against a snowy horizon line, gazing into the distance towards some unknown point, as small figures behind him walk away.

These drawings and paintings were my personal process of finding a way into the project, but at a certain point I realized that this was what I wanted to share. For me this photograph captured so much, but also leaves room for the imagination to fill in. There is a powerful sense of stillness in Noah’s face and in the landscape. The figures walking “off the page” towards something we are unsure of – for me represent an unknown future.

I work as an Art Therapist with elders, and I have come to think that though we might choose to express ourselves or gravitate towards a particular style, there can be many authentic ways to express ourselves. Each day, each attempt, might also offer a slightly different, changing perspective. My first painting was both emotional and instinctive, an abstraction of man and land/ snow covered horizon line and the relationship, connectedness of the two. The next piece is about change, a sense of not being there anymore, but still somehow being situated or belonging to a place. The last pieces I did focused on finding features, on rendering emotion and trying to capture the sense of quiet, powerful dignity that came across in the film. The pose is the same, but the figures and features took on a life of their own.

Ten years ago, I worked as an artist responding to the film, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen. The drawings were left unpublished at the time. Working from still shots from the film, they focused on the dreamlike quality of parts of the movie. I tried to capture some essential quality, something of the spirit or emotion of a person, of my interpretation of a picture. Of course, this also reveals parts of myself, my own feelings of loss, of struggle, of abandon, of rootedness and rapture, and of floating and rising above.

Nika Vaughan studied at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, with a focus on figurative drawing. Her gestural work explores impermanence – the relationship of the temporal and transcendent. Emotionally evocative, sensitive and raw, her work spans a range of styles and mediums. Trained as an Art Therapist, she works part-time facilitating art-making with elders.  Her work has been published in the Shambhala Sun and shown in Nova Scotia and British Columbia.