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This Saturday, November 18th the Museum at the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq will open a brand new exhibit called Dark Ice. This is a collaborative exhibit that was conceived by artists Leslie Reid of Ottawa and photographer Robert Kautuk of Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River) Nunavut in collaboration with the Ottawa Art Gallery.

Dark Ice is an examination of the profound and drastic impact that climate change is having on our ecosystems and in particular how the land, Ice and communities of the North are affected by man’s impact on the planet.

Leslie Reid is an established photographer and painter who is a Professor Emeritus in the Art Department at the University of Ottawa. She was educated first at Queens University in Kingston and then later in England. She has had major art shows in Paris, London and Ottawa, and the recipient of several grants from various arts agencies across the country.

Robert Kautuk is a self-taught photographer who with drone technology. He works at the Ittaq Heritage and Research Centre, and is a driving force in the Clyde River Knowledge Atlas. This is a digital platform that documents and records traditional knowledge while also encouraging Inuit led cultural research.

Together these two remarkable artists have created an exhibit that is both beautiful and insightful.

The exhibit features, photos, paintings, videos and a little bit of sculpture to demonstrate the effects of climate change on the North, both for overall ice formation as well as the effect it has on Inuit communities.

For Katryna Barske who is a public relations Officer for The Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq, the exhibit is both breathtaking and thought provoking. “Between the artists you see these different perspectives tell a unified story which I think is really beautiful. It’s not just one person’s job to work on the environmental problem…it is something that is going to take a collaboration from north and south which is something they are doing as artists; but also what we all have to do collectively as well,” states Barske.

In regards to the aim of the exhibit, Barske goes on to say, “I really hope that the show acts as a conversation starter for people, and that those conversations turn into some sort of action. I know climate change is not a new topic, but it’s not one that we are always talking about with our friends or family…or in a gallery setting. I hope that by seeing the collaboration between north and south and having those perspectives come together and be presented in such a beautiful exhibition that it will inspire more collaboration and consultation towards the problem.”

Dark Ice opens this Saturday November 18th, 2023 at the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq and goes until Mar 26th, 2024.  For more details check out the Winnipeg Art Gallery-Qaumajuq website.