Kamik: An Inuit Woman’s Art

Bata Shoe Museum

Toronto, Ontario, CAN  1995

Inauguarating the Bata Shoe Museum in 1995 was Kamik: An Inuit Woman’s Art, an exhibition designed by Philip Beesley and curated by Rick Riewe and Jill Oakes for Sonja Bata. A special scenic treatment evoking barren geology was developed using irregularly folded faceted panels making a continuous rolling floor surface. In the main area of the exhibit, this terrain was amplified by means of a huge backlit scrim treated as an Arctic sky. Detailed areas within the exhibit included individual landscapes evoking particular regions within the Arctic. Interactive areas within the exhibition featured arrays of fur and cloth samples encouraging touching and exploration.

Personal encounters ran throughout the exhibit. Text was written in first person in order to evoke personal experience of life in the North. Stories and songs accompanied the exhibit. Recognizing the sensitive cultural nature of the project, these texts were developed by means of a special consultative approach working closely with a committee of Inuit advisors. The exhibit received Toronto Now Magazine’s ‘best of 1995’ award for Museum Exhibitry.