Jennie Williams is an artist based in Nain, Nunatsiavut, NL who works primarily in photography. She creates powerful images that convey the cultural landscape and lived experience of Inuit in Nunatsiavut.
In her series A Way of Life (2016), Williams illustrates the love she has for her community by photographing everyday activities and people that communicate a deep sense of care for each subject and scene . She captures moments such as two young friends riding bikes together, or groups of children running around and playing in their community. A Way of Life was produced during her Elbow Rooms residency at The Rooms in St. John’s, NL. Williams’ work also records community traditions such as the Moravian/Inuit tradition of Nalujuk Night, or Old Christmas Day, which happens on January 6. Both frightening and alluring, the ongoing documentary series Nalujuk Night (2011-) captures a unique experience of Labrador life . The annual event features community members dressed in frightening masks and playfully chasing their fellow neighbours with chains and sticks. The only way to escape the masked Nalujuit, and perhaps even be rewarded with a treat, is to sing them a song in Inuktut.
By documenting lived realities and traditional events, Williams captures the connections of her northern coastal Labrador community and creates a space for storytelling and traditional knowledge sharing.
1. Erin Sutherland, "Spotlight," Canadian Art, Summer 2017.
2. Heather Igloliorte, "Jennie Williams," in SakKijâjuk: Art and Craft from Nunatsiavut (St. John's, NL: Goose Lane Editions, 2017), 168-169.