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“Findings” as a way of connecting jewellery designers across Inuit Nunangat with each other, and the wider community with an interest in wearable art - Dawn Bazely & Lisa Rankin

Round Table
Part of:
9:30 AM, Saturday 5 Oct 2019 (1 hour)
Inuit carvers and printmakers are world famous. The sale of their art provides important income in many communities across Inuit Nunangat. Various mechanisms aimed at protecting artists’ intellectual property, such as certificates of authenticity, have been developed. Regardless of the scale of the art, Inuit artists and artisans deserve fair remuneration for their labour, talent and expertise. Purchasing smaller items of “wearable art” (jewellery), is one way for non-indigenous visitors to Inuit Nunangat, including ecotourists, who are interested in learning about Inuit culture, history, politics, economy and environment, to connect with local artisans, while at the same time, generating income for the latter. Some Inuit jewellers are internationally known, commanding high prices for their designs. They are using their platforms to support emerging indigenous artists. There are many more, unsung, under-appreciated, talented Inuit designers. Many Inuit are skilled at creating wearable art using fur, bone, baleen, beads etc. They often have limited access to findings (small tools and supplies used by an artisan). This roundtable brings together (a) Inuit jewellery designers, (b) goldsmiths and fabrication instructors (indigenous and non-indigenous), (c) Inuit capacity-building groups, and (d) southernbased academics who participate in arctic Ecotourism activities, to reflect on: 1) The experiences of Inuit jewellery designers with being paid appropriately for creating wearable art. 2) The possibilities for fabricating custom “findings” locally, to enhance the value of these creations. 3) Education for visitors who acquire wearable art. Since much Inuit jewellery uses natural materials, it often needs special maintenance outside of the arctic.
York University
Memorial University of Newfoundland
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