Sheouak Petaulassie was one of the first women to make prints at the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative in Cape Dorset. Her prints appeared in two of the earliest Cape Dorset print collections -- 1960 and 1961 --but, tragically, she died prematurely in 1961.
Pot Spirits is a stencil from 1960 (this print is an unsigned, unnumbered artist's proof from the collection of Terry Ryan). It is a whimsical expression of the Inuit belief that all objects had an inua, or spirit. In this delightful print, ordinary pots and kettles have grown heads, arms and legs and are on their way to somewhere. Sheouak only made ten prints during her brief career, but the range of themes and techniques makes one wonder whether she would have rivalled Kenojuak Ashevak in her creativity had she lived a normal lifespan.
Sheouak Petaulassie | Pot Spirits | 1960 | Alaska on Madison
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Effie ANGALI'TAAQ ARNALUAQ, Whimbrels (curlews)
11 x 24 1/2 in.
An early experimental stencil print. This rare image came from the Albrecht Collection of Arctic Art.
Effie ANGALI'TAAQ ARNALUAQ | Whimbrels (curlews) | | Alaska on Madison
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Tudlik, Man Killing Seal
20 x 29 in.
Tudlik's early print shows no conception of perspective. The hunter's two arms are of wildly different lengths; there is no demarcation between the hunter on top of the ice and the seal underneath the ice; the coiled rope attached to the harpoon is deconstructed into a series of concentric lines. And yet the image is compelling.
Tudlik | Man Killing Seal | | Alaska on Madison
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Isah Koperqualuk, Legend, 23/25, 1961
Stencil, 24 x 29 in.
It is hard to believe that this very rare print was an early experimental print from Povungnituk. The design is streamlined, and the transformation is treated so subtly that it is easy to miss many of the details. One sees the wolf in the parka immediately, but on closer inspection one sees that this is a left-right trransformation. The right forepaw and right hind leg are still vulpine, but the left limbs are human. The creature holds a fishing jig in its left forepaw. The sophistication of the image is breathtaking, especially when one remembers that this print was made in 1961, the first year that Povungnituk released editioned prints.
Isah Koperqualuk | Legend, 23/25 | 1961 | Alaska on Madison
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Parr, Children chasing dogs, 31/50, 1965
13 3/4 x 30 1/2 in.
Parr's prints stand out among the early Cape Dorset prints, with their bold black-and-white textures (thanks to sensitive interpretation of Parr's pencil drawings by the printmaker, in this case Iyola Kingwatsiak) and complete disdain for scale. Many of Parr's prints show hunting scenes; this print is a light-hearted departure, showing children chasing dogs.
Parr | Children chasing dogs, 31/50 | 1965 | Alaska on Madison
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Janet Kigusiuq, Back River Landscape
Colored pencil, 30 x 22 1/2 in. (76.2 x 57.1 cm)
Janet Kigusiuq (1926-2005) was the eldest daughter of Jessie Oonark, the foremost Baker Lake graphic artist. After several decades of printmaking, Kigusiuq turned to color pencil drawings (of which this is one) and tissue paper collage. This drawing demonstrates Kigusiuq's masterful use of color and abstract pattern to suggest a river landscape.
Janet Kigusiuq | Back River Landscape | | Alaska on Madison
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Hanna Kigusiuk, Women with their amauti designs, 1987
Graphite pencil, 22 x 30 in.
Provenance: Albrecht Collection of Arctic Art. This pencil drawing is virtually a pattern-book for designs of classic amauti (women's parkas), with detailed front, back, and side views.
Hanna Kigusiuk | Women with their amauti designs | 1987 | Alaska on Madison
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Nicotye Samayualie, Untitled landscape, 2012
Coloured pencil and pentel pen on paper, 19 1/2 x 51 in. (49.5 x 129.5 cm)
Nicotye Samayualie is one of the rising stars among Cape Dorset graphic artists. In this diptych, showing a landscape near Cape Dorset, the artist repeats similar elements with subtle variations to create a dynamic image.
Nicotye Samayualie | Untitled landscape | 2012 | Alaska on Madison
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Ningeokuluk Teevee, Lumaaq taken to the deep, 2011
Graphite, colored pencil and pentel pen, 25 9/16 x 19 5/8 in. (65 x 50 cm)
Ningeokuluk Teevee presents a contemporary take on an episode from the legend of Lumaaq (the blind boy and the loon) in this one-of-a-kind drawing. According to the legend, the loon told the blind boy that if he climbed on the loon's back and let the loon take him under the water, his sight would be restored. In Ning's drawing, the boy is holding onto the loon's feet; one can just make out the tips of the wings, complete with Ning's distinctive pen-and-ink feather detail. A delicate trail of bubbles and the blue background gently suggest that the boy is underwater. (By the way, the treatment worked, and Lumaaq regained his sight.)
Ningeokuluk Teevee | Lumaaq taken to the deep | 2011 | Alaska on Madison
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Davidialuk Alashua Amittu, Waiting for Canada Geese, 43/50, 1977
Stonecut, 12 x 14 in. (30.5 x 35.6 cm)
Many of Davidialuk's prints are based on legends, but this print is derived from daily life. A hunter waits in a blind for a flock of geese to land, hoping to bag his dinner. Although relatively small in size, the geese are beautifully detailed. A legend in Inuktituk along the bottom of the image describes the scene.
Davidialuk Alashua Amittu | Waiting for Canada Geese, 43/50 | 1977 | Alaska on Madison
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Sheojuk Etidlooie, Pitsiit (Drying char), 10/50
22 x 28 in.
Sheojuk Etidlooie's graphics frequently are highly abstracted. This print, in contrast, is quite realistic, with the bone structure of the individual pieces of drying char depicted clearly. However, the overall impression is an abstraction, with the char isolated from their surroundings.
Sheojuk Etidlooie | Pitsiit (Drying char), 10/50 | | Alaska on Madison
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Angotigolu Teevee, Spirits reaching for the moon, 14/50
20 1/2 x 13 in.
Between 1961 and 1964, Angotigolu Teevee created twelve prints that were included in the early Cape Dorset annual print collections. Like this stonecut, her images were full of quirky characters, combining realistic and fantastic features. They leave one wondering what direction her creativity would have taken had she lived longer.
Angotigolu Teevee | Spirits reaching for the moon, 14/50 | | Alaska on Madison
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Malaya Akulukjuk, Sunrise at Tanaqaaq, 9/20, 1988-89
Wool, 40 1/2 x 54 in. (102.9 x 137.2 cm)
Malaya Akulukjuk was the Jessie Oonark of Pangnirtung. She
produced many hundreds of drawings, with thirty-five turned
into prints. Moreover, her images completed dominated the
tapestry weaving program during her lifetime. She was a
strong-willed woman who loved to hunt, and was reputed to be
a shaman. While many of her images represent various aspects
of the spirit world, she also created designs for a number of
beautiful large landscapes for the weaving studio in the last
ten years of her life. Another copy of this tapestry is
displayed in the halls of the House of Commons in Canada's
The weaver is Igah Etuangat (1943- )
Malaya Akulukjuk | Sunrise at Tanaqaaq, 9/20 | 1988-89 | Alaska on Madison
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Qavavau Manumie, Untitled (Bear and fish)
22 x 30 in.
Qavavau Manumie | Untitled (Bear and fish) | | Alaska on Madison
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