Ice Spider is a collaboration between Saimaiyu Akesuk of Cape Dorset and Cheryl Rondeau of Toronto. Inspired by Akesuk’s iconic 2014 drawing entitled Red Spider, this experimental short employs the technique of stop-motion animation while making reference to the actual behaviour of the Arctic Wolf Spider, a genus of arachnid common across the North. Climate change has resulted in larger populations and increased predatory tendencies of this carnivorous and cannibalistic spider. This sci-fi-influenced short animates the growing discourse around the ecological, political and cultural future of Canada’s Arctic. Background imagery was shot on location in Cape Dorset, Nunavut.
Saimaiyu Akesuk was born in Iqaluit and has lived in Cape Dorset her whole life. She was inspired to start drawing by Ningeokuluk Teevee while they were taking a class together at the Nunavut Teaching Education Program. Her drawings of animals are characterized by bold and dynamic simplicity, rendered with tenderness and whimsy.
Cheryl Rondeau is a visual artist who works with both still and moving imagery. Born in St. Catharines, Rondeau studied photography and video at the Ontario College of Art, has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social/Cultural Anthropology from the University of Toronto and recently completed an MFA at York University in Toronto. Her work has been included in exhibitions and festivals internationally.
Cheryl Rondeau and Saimaiyu Akesuk, Ice Spider, 2018, video. Image courtesy of Vtape.