Tiina Itkonen’s Piniartoq (Hunter) exhibition takes a close look at the everyday lives of Greenland’s Inuit hunters and their families and the way they acquire nourishment – which in the northern part of the country generally means either fishing or hunting walrus, seal and polar bear. Itkonen’s majestically beautiful photographic works take viewers to the midst of icescapes and depict the life of the community that inhabits them. She has carried out the project in collaboration with the Arctic researcher Kristin Laidre and the science writer Susan McGrath.
Tiina Itkonen has worked in Greenland for more than twenty years now, documenting the life in our planet’s most northerly latitudes, travelling more than 1500 kilometres, in the absence of roadways, for instance, by dog sled, boat, oil tanker and air. At the same time, she has observed the advance of climate change during those years. The vanishing of sea ice is a threat not only to polar bears (which depend on it in every way), but also to the Inuit people and their ancient traditional hunting culture. In the 1990s, the sea ice in the northern parts of Greenland was still two metres thick and could bear the weight of a human being for most of the year, while now it is only safe to move on it for a few months a year.
Itkonen’s works have been shown widely in international arenas, for instance, the 57th Venice Biennale, the 17th Biennale of Sydney and several European art museums. Her works are in major collections around the world, such as Sweden’s Moderna Museet, Germany’s DZ Bank, Alaska’s Anchorage Museum, and numerous private collections around Europe, Asia and the USA.