The TD Northern Lamps is a newly installed art experience outside the TD Centre, at King and Bay in Toronto. The installation tells the personal stories of Inuit artists working in Cape Dorset, Nunavut and their experience with the Northern Lights.
Known for its vibrant art scene and renowned artists, Cape Dorset (Kinngait in Inuktitut) sits off the southwestern tip of Baffin Island. With a population of about 1,400, the hamlet is 2,300 kilometers from Toronto. It is a frequent trek for William Huffman of Dorset Fine Arts (a division of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-Operative), who helps promote the art and artists in the region.
Huffman listened to stories and vantage points that illuminate the Inuit experience, eagerly told by each artist. He also made sure to get the help of a translator, so that he could “precisely capture the spirituality and friendship attached to the lights.”
He first sat down with renowned master lithography printmaker Niveaksie Quvianaqtuliaq. Though typically reserved, according to Huffman, Quvianaqtuliaq stopped what he was doing and began sharing his experiences in full detail.
“He taught me how the Lights are embedded with the lifestyle of the North,” Huffman remembers. “Seeing them through the eyes of others, I was reminded of how magnificent they are.”
On display until May 30th, the installation and the stories that inspired it will be exhibited in the Toronto-Dominion Centre.
“The TD Northern Lights Installation invites colleagues and passersby to experience Inuit artists’ interpretation of this this natural wonder in downtown Toronto,” says Kerry Peacock, Executive Vice President, Day to Day Banking, Investing and Transformation and Chair, Indigenous Peoples Committee, TD Bank Group.
“Inspired by this natural phenomenon unique to the north, the installation aims to enhance people’s understanding of how individuals experience the lights in remote Northern regions. Much like the Northern Lights, it is best appreciated after sunset. We hope to see you there.”