Communion Thin (detail), 2016, Maureen Gruben (Inuvialuk), Polar bear guard hair, vinyl, cotton thread, 70” X 76”, $9000

Original size is 800 × 517 pixels

In Communion Thin (2016), polar bear guard hairs are stitched between small vinyl rectangles that are connected with hand-tied red threads to form a suspended array, reminiscent of a thin sheet of ice that obliquely reflects light. With a title that alludes to liturgical objects, the work explores the role materials play in values and belief systems.

– text from “The Generosity of Translucence” by Kyra Kordoski