Ohito Ashoona is a sculptor from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU who is a part of a family of renowned artists. Spending most of his youth in an outpost camp near Cape Dorset where Ashoona lived a mostly traditional lifestyle, which developed into a strong attachment to the land and northern animals.
Year of practice and watching his family work gave Ohito the skill and knowledge to carve while his traditional upbringing gave him an in depth understanding of Inuit spirituality and beliefs and a respect for arctic wildlife. These themes all appear heavily in Ashoona’s carvings. Ashoona often carves northern animals with warmth, often presenting his figures in states of intimacy or curiosity.
Ohito’s work is also distinguished by his tendency to carve multiple figures, generating imaginative scenes and relationships between figures and animals .
Ashoona earned the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in 2002 for his excellence in carving. His work has been exhibited widely across Canada and abroad. Ashoona’s works are a part of the public collection of institutions such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON, the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.
1. "Ohito Ashoona," Inuit Gallery of Vancouver. Accessed: August 1, 2018. https://inuit.com/pages/ohito-ashoona