Shuvinai Ashoona


CCA, Glasgow

7th of February until 22nd of March, 2020

Shuvinai Ashoona is an Inuit artist working primarily in drawing. The exhibition at the CCA includes some of her lesser known work; mostly colourful pencil drawings along with some linear work in black and white.


The curation follows the traditional white cube setting with the two smaller rooms containing work in a smaller scale and operating as introductory passages to the spacious back room were mainly larger pieces are displayed.

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Overall, I enjoyed the atmosphere of the space in conjunction with the work; especially the back room with the skylight window on the ceiling. The roof was reminiscent of a hut somewhere in a cold place and along with the white lighting it felt in tune with Shuvinai´s work.

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There is a narrative in the drawings individually as well as a whole throughout the exhibition. The drawings are very informative about Inuit culture. There´s plenty of recurring elements presented in scenes from daily life. A strong sense of community is depicted and a mix of traditional and contemporary elements.

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There´s sense of silliness, tenderness and domesticity and laid out all together they almost seemed to me like a visual diary with vague limits between the personal and the collective. Shuvinai uses a lot of fantastical elements in her drawings. I really enjoyed the normality of these surrealisms within scenes of ordinary life. It opens a window to the artist´s imagination and invites the viewer to approach the work in a playful manner.

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The drawings emanate a sense of creative freedom and unfiltered expression. They’re almost seamless. You can sense that Shuvinai enjoys the act of making by the result. Overall, it was a very inspiring and refreshing show.

Maria Tolia

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