Sign at Annie Pootoogook Park vandalized in Ottawa

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Mother and Child (2006), coloured pencil and ink on paper, by Annie Pootoogook.

On Monday January 10, the sign at the Annie Pootoogook Park in the Ottawa neighbourhood of Sandy Hill was vandalized with red paint.

The Ottawa Citizen reports: “The name honouring the internationally renowned Inuk artist was crossed out and ‘Sandy Hill’ scrawled in spray paint.”

The park was named after Pootoogook in November 2021.

The body of 46-year-old Pootoogook was found in the Rideau River in September 2016.

At that time, the Toronto Star reported: “Pootoogook, born in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, was an acclaimed, award-winning contemporary Inuit artist best known for her frank, ink-and-crayon drawings of contemporary northern life.”

That article further noted: “Her work was reflective of her own life and community, at times chronicling her experience of physical and sexual abuse and living with relatives suffering from alcoholism.”

After her death, Stephen Dale wrote: “Throughout Canada, and internationally, Annie Pootoogook was responsible for a seismic shift in the way Inuit art is perceived. The young artist offered a candid, unfiltered and unembellished view of life in the North, where aspects of traditional Inuit culture coexist with Nintendo consoles, frozen foods and the televised visage of Dr. Phil, and where modern problems such as alcoholism and domestic abuse have touched many lives.”

CTV also commented: “Her art reflected her experience as a female Indigenous artist living and working in contemporary Canada.”

An appreciation by Nancy G. Campbell of Pootoogook’s artwork can also be read here.

This past November, Annie’s older sister Elisapie Pootoogook was found dead in downtown Montreal after seeking shelter in a condominium building construction site.

Photo by Randy Boswell.

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