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Inuggutitsaq. Literally translated: what enables one to live. Everything you need to live and take only what you need. Life on the sea ice.
This is a soft sculpture assembled out of hand made felt, bone, sinew, fur and snow partridge and sewn with a traditional blanket stitch. It represents the solid sea ice and many ice floes that enable people not only to survive but thrive. When there is thick ice and many ice floes the hunter can venture further out and have a sucessful seal hunt. The animal elements in the work represent a successful hunt and full bellies. The soft sculpture in felt symbolises the precious skills needed to create clothing out of the skin of animals to ward off the extreme cold of the Labrador winters.
Of course traditional clothing is still created using skills handed down through the generations but generally people wear modern day down filled parkas and boots.
The ice up the lake as we say has been very unstable and people and animals have lost their lives falling through thin ice. Happens every year. As a child I remember the river freezing completely over and spending hours digging a hole through to the water to fish a few trout for dinner! It is not safe to cross on foot anymore.
Indeed the polar bear is suffering from this change in the presence and quality of ice. He cannot hunt effectively without an abundance of ice floes and some have drowned attempting to swim between the few present in their attempt to hunt. This is real and some elders say it is the beginning of the end.