Culture and Heritage

Arts

Nunavut has a rich tradition of creativity and artistic ability. Traditional Inuit culture, legends and the arctic environment provide unparalleled inspiration and distinct themes. Inuit have been using their surrounding materials to create art for millennia.

The period of contemporary Inuit art began in the late 1940s. Inuit tapestries, prints, carvings, jewelry, and fine arts have become renowned throughout the world. The storytelling, throat singing and drum dancing of Nunavut's Inuit are also an honoured tradition.

Art in Nunavut has blended traditional knowledge with modern-day techniques. This combination of new and old brings together the practices of our elders and youth to create exciting, innovative art that is truly unique to Nunavut.

Documentary Art Project

The Documentary Art Project is a collection of 19th century works, produced mainly by ship-board artists. These pieces represent how many Nunavummiut lived in the early 1800s.

These images were selected because of their striking contrasts. On one hand, the art shows Inuit clothing, culture and traditions, and on the other, there is the stark difference of the British naval officers.

The majority of these images are courtesy of the Library and Archives of Canada.

Photo gallery

Documentary Art Project brochure (PDF)