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A photograph of two individuals facing each other while holding a megaphone with a crowd of people in the background.

Getting Under Our Skin

Curated by

Andrew Hunter

Inspired by Inuk filmmaker Alethea Anarquq-Baril’s award-winning documentary Angry Inuk, this exhibition is grounded in intergenerational art and activism that speaks to the central role of the seal and seal hunting within Inuit culture and society. Considered a critically important Indigenous right to Inuit communities and essential to sustainability, the practice has been dramatically impacted by international bans and protests since the 1980s that have failed to engage the Inuit themselves. As Anarquq-Baril’s film shows, these campaigns have long used misinformation, images of the clubbing of baby seals, for example, a method long banned and never practiced by the Inuit.

Bringing together contemporary works as well as artworks from the AGG’s permanent collections, Getting Under Our Skin highlights the primacy of lived traditions and their transformation in visual culture as acts of resistance and resilience. Key to the exhibition are the voices, ideas, and actions of an emerging generation of Inuit, including youth living in Guelph and students from Ottawa’s Nunavut Sivuniksavut college program who recently staged a Pro Seal Hunt Rally on Parliament Hill (March 28, 2018) – a hybrid fashion show, dance performance, and protest, documented by Katherine Takpannie. Excerpts from Angry Inuk, a music video from Tanya Tagaq’s Polaris Prize winning album Animism, and Couzyn van Heuvelen’s Avataq provide a contemporary contrast to the prints, sculptures, and drawings of generations who experienced life on the land and the forced transition to settlements. Getting Under Our Skin continues the AGG’s forty-year commitment to Indigenous culture and reflects a critical engagement with food security and sustainable communities prominent in the Guelph region.

Works from the AGG’s extensive collection of Inuit art have been selected for the exhibition by four Inuit youth in dialogue with Andrew Hunter, AGG Senior Curator. Parr Etidloie (Cape Dorset/Ottawa), Avianna Ulliaq Alaingaq Mackenzie (Rankin Inlet/Ottawa), Albie Sheldon (Guelph), and Katherine Takpannie (Ottawa) have each selected drawings, prints, and sculptures they feel speak to the importance of seals and sealing to Inuit culture as well as to their personal experiences and memories. For a podcast featuring Parr Etidloie (great-grandson of the artist Parr), Avianna Ulliaq Alaingaq Mackenzie, and Katherine Takpannie in conversation with Andrew Hunter, please visit:

Image detail: Katherine Takpannie, Pro Sealing Rally, Parliament Hill, Ottawa, featuring Inuit throat singers Leanna Wilson and Tooma Dianna Laisa, March, 2018


Getting Under Our Skin is presented by the Art Gallery of Guelph with the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.


Peter Pitseolak
Seal Hunter with Equipment
Nick Sikkuark
Seal Spirit
Anautaq Kiataniaq
Bear Attacking Seal
Installation view
Installation view
Installation view of Getting Under Our Skin exhibition, displaying two photos of Inuit throat singers while in the middle, shows blue colored schematic clothing patterns.
Installation view
Installation view of Getting Under Our Skin exhibition, displaying various artwork and display cases holding a variety of different objects.
Installation view
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Alethea Anarquq-Baril
Pitseolak Ashoona
Tivi Etook
Koopinoak Evalak
David Issigaitok
Anautaq Kiatainaq
Anna Kingwatsiak
Iyola Kingwatsiak

Pootoogook Ningeookaluk
Jessie Oonark
Peesee Oshuitoq
Josie Papialuk
Peter Pitseolak
Nancy Pukingrnak Aupaluktuq

Simon Sigyareak
Nick Sikkuark
Harry Surusila
Tanya Tagaq
Katherine Takpannie
Jamasie Teevee
Couzyn van Heuvelen

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