• Feature

Watching the Spring Breakup from Overhead

Between Sea and Sky

Aug 26, 2020
by Eldred Allen and Robert Kautuk

With strikingly similar images and aesthetic impulses, we asked what Robert Kautuk, from Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River), NU, and Eldred Allen, from Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, NL, thought of each other’s photographs in this five-part series. 


Eldred Allen
Nature’s Jigsaw (2018) Digital photograph

I like the way this photo captures the spring breakup. It makes me think of longer, warmer days, even though it’s difficult to travel at that time as the ice is not thick enough to travel by Ski-Doo and too thick to travel by a boat. There is an interesting play with the scale and contrasting colours here, and the ice starts to resemble chunks of salt preserving country food. I love capturing the breakup too, and it’s a relief to see that there are photographers out there that have similar taste as mine. 

— Robert Kautuk 


Robert Kautuk
Sea Ice Break Up (2019) Digital photograph

I captured a similar image of spring breakup with my drone called Nature’s Jigsaw (2018). From a compositional standpoint this is a visually appealing image with its repeating patterns and a nice balance between the dark water on the left and white ice on the right. It’s an image that makes me think of spring ‘isolation,’ as during spring breakup we cannot travel anywhere, given the conditions, so we are often bound to the community until we can travel by boat. 

— Eldred Allen 

Feature was originally published in the Summer 2020 Issue of the Inuit Art Quarterly.

Read the rest of the series:

How a River Forms from a Drone’s Point of View

What Marine Mammals Look Like From Above

How Sea Ice Dots Aerials Landscapes


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