Artist Jason Jacque has spent most of his life creating his pieces without a market to sell to. In his piece in the Inuit Art Quarterly from Spring 2017, Jason speaks to his humble beginnings which involved teaching himself how to carve with persistence. He primarily learned carving from an elder named Fred Decker, who was known locally for his dog team carvings . In the wake of his artistic practice, he amassed his first piece of steatite and had to teach himself how to carve it.
The SakKijâjuk: Art and Craft from Nunatsiavut traveling exhibition was the first exhibition that Jacque participated in, and gained some attention for his sculpture titled Shaman (2015). It is a sculpture with a shaman carved out of bone, with a long head piece made from vertebrae rising above him adding to its small but dominant stature. The kayak and water elements are carved out of serpentinite, with its natural surface texture and coloration adding to the effect of a moving wave. The ripples in the stone lead to the centre of the wave where a whale tail is emerging. The artist's attention to ambitious composition and multimedia, along with the spiritual and natural aspects, present a mastering of technique and style.
With obstacles involved in the art industry, Jason Jacque states that he is evolving his practice to focus on smaller artisanal pieces, which are more popular and well fitted for his local/regional market. He has a recent focus on creating a unique style of jewellery made from ivory, baleen, seashells and muskox horn . Jacque’s passion for creating surpasses any obstacle, as he adapts himself and focuses on a variety of artistic styles and goals. He is currently studying jewellery-making in Barrie, ON, and has carved with serpentine, soapstone and marble.
1. Jason Jacque, "Access to Stone," Inuit Art Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 1 (Spring 2007): 54.