Magazine article Anglican Journal

College Chapel Window Is a First in Inuit Art World

Magazine article Anglican Journal

College Chapel Window Is a First in Inuit Art World

Article excerpt

Oakville, Ont.

THE FIRST STAINED glass window ever designed by an Inuit artist was dedicated recently during a special 75th anniversary service at the John Bell Chapel at Appleby College.

Designed by Inuk artist Kenojuak Ashevak, 78, of Cape Dorset, and created by Toronto stained glass artist Sue Obata, the window portrays a large, snowy owl and an arctic char--both symbols of Canada's north. Featuring brilliant jewel-tones and a simple design, the work of art creates a striking contrast to the other 13 more intricately-styled windows in the chapel of the school, located a half hour west of Toronto in the diocese of Niagara.

Tided, Iggalaaq (Where the Light Comes Through), the window measures 2.1 metres wide by 3.9 metres tall.

During two special commemorative services held Nov. 9 before college staff, students and guests, Andrew Atagotaaluk, diocesan bishop of the Arctic, said a prayer of blessing and dedication over the window. He described it as, "a rare and special window that will tell its own message, whether from a Christian perspective or from a cultural perspective."

Bishop Atagotaaluk described the Arctic as, "the largest diocese in the world," at over four-and-a-half million square kilometres, and said that for those who live in such a vast wilderness, the arctic char and the snowy owl--which are abundant--represent, "sustenance of life." He said that the fish is an ancient symbol representing Christ, and that for Christians, a white dove represents the Holy Spirit. "For Christians in the far north, the snowy owl is just as much a symbol of God's presence," he said. …

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