‘Tuktuuyaqtuuq’ is the Inuvialuktun name of Maureen Gruben’s (Uvic Alumni, BFA ‘12) home on the Arctic coast (known in English as ‘Tuktoyaktuk’). It means, ‘Looks Like a Caribou.’
The tuktu/caribou are integral to Inuvialuit life, providing food, clothes, tools, stories. In TUKTUUYAQTUUQ, Gruben works with multiple facets of the animal: the translucent heart sac, the intricate patterning of bone seams on skulls that are reminiscent of waterways curving through the land. In her careful attention to life-sustaining physical elements, Gruben also traces the caribou’s vast immaterial presence in her culture.