Original size is 494 × 742 pixels

Maureen Gruben (Inuvialuk)

Sealskin, red velvet, thread

42′ x 1″


Stretching to fifty feet long with intersecting bands of red velvet and sealskin, Seal In Our Blood (2018) also relates to the inner- and intra-workings of living beings. A linear, soft, malleable object that can be flexibly positioned, it elicits the constant circulation of blood within, as well as the respect you must have for that which you depend on for sustaining this flow. Integral to Inuit survival, seals provide food, protection from the elements, and transportation; seal oil is the fuel that cotton wicks absorb and burn in qulliqs. The Inuvialuit people are as dependent on seals as the polar bear is. A line is also, of course, the basic element of writing and drawing, and therefore a fundamental means of sharing ideas, information and memories. The memory of a string of fresh red seal gut stretched out across white snow was in fact the genesis of Gruben’s 2017 land installation Stitching My Landscape, Gruben’s first large-scale work of land art and it is deeply tied to memory, family and healing.
– text by Kyra Kordoski