Peek at the Dream: Abraham Anghik Ruben at AGM

Artist Abraham Anghik Ruben will unveil new sculpture at Shaman’s Dreams, at the AGM Nov. 4th-Dec 23rd

One of my favourite parts of installation week is seeing new artwork for the first time. It’s even more of a treat when the artist himself drops off some of his work at the Gallery even before installation week! A couple of days ago, artist Abraham Anghik Ruben and Kipling Gallery’s Lou Ruffolo brought over three of Ruben’s sculptures to the AGM. You can check out some photos of them unloading the works here.

Abraham was wonderful enough to talk to the AGM staff a bit about this sculpture.

This sculpture was created from the skull of a 60-foot bowhead whale from NWT. This side of the sculpture shows the top of the skull, and represents the human element.

Mother and child with other shamans migrating between the spirit world and the human world. Note the young shaman protected under the tent of the mother’s hair.

The hunter. Note the head of the raven on the left. According to Alaska Inuit mythology, the Raven was the creator. Other Inuit legends has the Raven as a trickster figure, and also as a figure that helps shamans communicate with the spirit world.

The other side of the sculpture, which represents Inuit myths and legends. This used to be the mouth cavity of the whale. Note again the ravens on top.

The goddess Sedna. From what I can remember of the story Abraham told us, Sedna fell in love with a man who took her to an island and was later revealed to have the feet of a bird. Her father took off on a boat to rescue her, but on their way out of the island, there was a storm. In an attempt to save himself, the father threw Sedna overboard. Sedna tried to get back on to the boat, but her father cut off her fingers.

This part of Ruben’s sculpture shows Sedna drowning. Note the cut-off stumps of the fingers on Sedna’s hand. It’s a bit difficult to see in this photo, but the sculpture also shows Sedna rising as a goddess from the head of her drowning form.

The Shaman. Note the owl above the shaman’s head.

Catch Abraham Anghik Ruben’s Shaman’s Dreams at the Art Gallery of Mississauga Nov 4th – Dec 23rd.

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