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Cutting Ice


Nancy Campbell
Goose Lane Editions
February 2018

The life and death of Annie Pootoogook is a story of national significance. The complex narratives weaving through her short life speak to possibility and heartbreak, truth and reconciliation, the richness of community, and the depths of tragedy.

These complexities are recorded in her beautiful pencil crayon compositions. Her frank, sometimes serious, sometimes amusing, images of everyday life in the North declare her as a major contributor to the landscape of contemporary Inuit art. Cutting Ice, by Nancy Campbell, art historian and curator to Pootoogook for over 15 years, helps put the life and art of the groundbreaking Inuit artist in proper context. The book includes a summary of how Inuit art arose as a commercial enterprise in Pootoogook’s home town of Cape Dorset, a biography of the third-generation artist, a look at some of the contemporaries that she worked alongside, as well as reflections by art experts on how Pootoogook changed perceptions of Inuit art. The book serves to commemorate the life and work of a remarkable artist. The essays are published in English and Inuktitut.