Avataq is an installation of handmade foil balloons resembling sealskin floats. This work reimagines the avataq; a traditional float made from one full sealskin that has been inflated with air, plugged, and tied off. The avataq is an important tool used in conjunction with a harpoon in traditional Inuit hunting practices, allowing hunters to track and tire marine animals in order to catch them. The work relies on the shared similarities of the avataq and foil balloon to also bring together the connotations both objects carry. The work becomes a means to call attention to a location or event by taking an inviting and accessible form, and a way to celebrate Inuit culture and traditions.
This project is presented by The Leyton Gallery of Fine Art: