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Tunnillie, RCA

Tunnillie, RCA



Artistic Community:

Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU

Date of Birth:

Artists may have multiple birth years listed as a result of when and where they were born. For example, an artist born in the early twentieth century in a camp outside of a community centre may not know/have known their exact date of birth and identified different years.

Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU

Date of Death:

Artists may have multiple dates of death listed as a result of when and where they passed away. Similar to date of birth, an artist may have passed away outside of a community centre or in another community resulting in different dates being recorded.



Ovilu Tunnillie, RCA, was a Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU sculptor who defied convention and became one of the most respected Inuit artists from the Canadian Arctic. Tunnillie began carving at a time when there were few female carvers; she had a particular focus on women, autobiographical carvings, taboo subjects and overall, created a truly unique and important collection of work. Tunnillie was known to engage in difficult subject manner, focused on contemporary women in the North and their struggles. Tunnillie is one of few Inuit female carvers to achieve international success, with a many solo and group exhibitions across North America and internationally. In 2003, she was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy.View Long Biography and Citations


View All Publications and Details
Title Year Author
Nunavut's Oviloo Tunnillie 'defied stereotypes' with evocative stone carvings May 6, 2019 Priscilla Hwang
New book puts spotlight on celebrated Cape Dorset carver April 26, 2019 John Thompson
Oviloo Tunnillie: Life & Work 2019 Darlene Coward Wight


View All Exhibitions and Details
Name Year Gallery
Oviloo Tunnillie: A Woman's Story in Stone June - Sept 2016 Winnipeg Art Gallery
Ten Major Sculptures June - July 2016 Marion Scott Gallery
Rock, Paper, Scissors May - July 2016 Art Gallery of Guelph


View All Achievements and Details
Achievement Year Organization
Cover of the Inuit Art Quarterly 2009 Inuit Art Foundation
Member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts 2003 Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
Cover of the Inuit Art Quarterly Spring 1995 Inuit Art Foundation

Public Collections

View All Public Collections
Collection Location
Art Gallery of Ontario Toronto, ON, Canada
Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, ON
Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec Montreal, Quebec, Canada