Meltwater: Opening Panel Discussion

Opening Panel Discussion
Thurday, 17 August 2023, 5pm | Gathering Hall


Please join FIA’s Director and curator of Meltwater, Claire Shea, for an opening panel discussion with attending artists Ashoona Ashoona, Alexa Kumiko Hatanaka, and Katherine Takpannie.

The discussion will be followed by the opening of Meltwater at the Fogo Island Gallery.

Ashoona Ashoona (born 1974 in Iqaluit, Canada; lives in Kinngait, Canada) works as a carver, printmaker, and graphic artist. Ashoona was raised in a family of artists, began stone cutting in 2012, and made prints at Kinngait Studios from 2012-2020. He was part of the team that built a collaborative artwork for the Inuit Circumpolar Council meeting in 2014.


Alexa Kumiko Hatanaka is a Japanese-Canadian artist based in Toronto. Her practice brings together historical craft technologies of her heritage including ink, natural dye, printmaking and papermaking to create her distinct visual vernacular. Her work is experience based research which includes a foundation in long-term community-engaged projects with collaborators in the high Arctic as well as recent collaborative performances that integrate and reinterpret kamiko, garments sewn out of washi, Japanese paper.

She carries forward the beauty of environmentally sustainable traditions, to explore the possibilities of their application into the future. Her approach to wearable sculpture removes the boundaries between craft, fashion and art. Hatanaka’s intentional choice of materiality supports the concepts embedded in her work which includes interconnectedness and impacts of globalization on communities integrally grounded in specific lands; collapsing time to layer ancestry and past versions of self; and the relationship between protection and courage.

Hatanaka has exhibited her work at the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, CA), Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, CA), the British Museum and Canada House (London, UK), The Toronto Biennial of Art (Toronto, CA) the Guanlan International Printmaking Base (Shenzhen, China), the Nikkei National Museum (Burnaby, CA) and Harper’s (New York, USA), and forthcoming at the Ino Cho Paper Museum. Hatanaka is represented by Patel Brown Gallery in Toronto, Canada.


Almost every aspect of Inuit life has a belief attached to it: a way of showing people how to honour their values. As a self-taught emerging photographer, Katherine Takpannie honours her Inuit worldview through her lens; one that is strongly grounded in social accountability and unity. To her, photography is the best medium to reclaim her identity and explore her experiences as an urban Inuk. Takpannie has studied her history, culture and language and uses her knowledge to convey her vision and emotion seamlessly.  Takpannie’s visual language expands from lush landscapes to intimate self-portraits and gritty urban scenes. Takpannie’s artistic practice also focuses on revealing the complexities and nuances of urban Inuit life, which includes capturing performative and political gestures of contemporary issues that Indigenous Canadians face daily. Takpannie aims to help raise awareness and bring forth important conversations through her work. 

Takpannie’s photographs have been exhibited nationally and are published in several art magazines. She has recently exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada, the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq, Biennale d’art contemporain autochtone (BACA), City of Ottawa Art Collection, Art Gallery of Guelph, PAMA Peel Art Gallery + Museum, and the Olga Korper Gallery Inc. Katherine’s photograph was on the cover of Inuit Art Quarterly’s issue Colour: Chromatic North, which won the Grand Prix at the 2023 National Magazine Award. Her photographs have also been featured in Canadian Geographic, Inuktitut magazine and Canadian Wildlife Magazine. In 2020, she received the New Generation Photography Award from the National Gallery of Canada


We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts   

Related Content
Meltwater (August 17 - November 30, 2023)
Weather Reports
Liam Gillick’s A Variability Quantifier (The Fogo Island Red Weather Station) (2022)

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