Artist: Jamie Strassenburg
Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Title of piece: Inuit Mythos
Artist Conversation with Jamie Strassenburg
Pukimna, Caribou Mother
During yesterdays viewing at the gallery the work that caught my eye was illustrated by Jamie Strassenburg. The reason I was drawn to this gallery was because of the very smooth and vibrant (electronic) paintings that were created by Jamie. Jamie’s gallery consisted of 9 images all relating to Inuit culture and their mythology. I wasn’t aware of the Inuit (Eskimo) myths that revolved around their culture until I saw Jamie’s work and conversed with her about the stories behind her illustrations. For those of you who don’t know about the Inuit people, they are the indigenous people who occupy the Arctic regions of Greenland, Canada, and Alaska.
Sedna, Mistress of the Sea
Jamie’s work was done very well! Stylistically the 9 pieces were very smooth and had great contrast with light and dark colors. The brightness and color choice really makes you focus on that of the mythological god/goddess portrayed in the illustration. To me when I see her work it reminds me of video game characters especially from the computer game World of Warcraft. This is the style that Jamie was shooting for since her inspiration comes from the development and look of mythical video game characters. Jamie started with a pencil sketch for each one of her works and then was able to make the finishing touches with her vast knowledge and experience with the use of Photoshop.
Moon Brother Anningan
Jamie took interest in this culture and based her work on the Inuit people because of the Native American Art History course she had taken in a previous semes ter. Jamie was a little upset when taking this course because it was brought to light that this culture was not a popular study within Western society. It seems that Greek and Norse mythology are more commonly known within our society but some people may not be at all familiar with Inuit mythology. Jamie’s goal was to create art that helped expose the Native Inuit myth’s because of the lack of knowledge individuals possess about this culture and their beliefs.
Selamiut, The Sky-Dwellers
To me, the work it self it conveys the beliefs of creation and death that the Inuit people had about the world and all that live in it. The 9 illustrations all consist of a god or goddess and can clearly be identified with their relation to the world. A majority of the pieces were about creation. There were a few paintings which were a timeline in relation to the creation of the Sun and the Moon. The one that I enjoyed the most was the piece that displayed Nanook, the Polar Bear Master. Nanook was a guardian spirit who punished taboo violators and warned children of apex predators. The style of this one was really cool it was half human but half skeleton and it reminded me of the grim reaper. This wasn’t just art to look at, it was a history lesson, showing me and all others who view it the beliefs that the Inuit people hold.
Nanook, Polar Bear Master
For more information about Jamie’s work visit www.jamiedraws.com.