In the interest of public safety, the IAF’s offices are closed until future notice. Staff are continuing to work off-site supporting Inuit artists and their work.

During this unprecedented and challenging time, it is more important than ever to remain connected to each other. The IAF remains committed to making sure that artists have access to opportunities and bringing you inspiring artworks, artist profiles and untold stories.

Thank you for being a part of our community, we wish you health and comfort during this difficult time.

20 Carvers to Know in 2020: Damien Iquallaq

by Jessica MacDonald | Jan 13, 2020

“I am going to be carving for the rest of my life,” says Damien Iquallaq. Iquallaq worked at Ashoona Studios in Yellowknife, NT, before setting up his own studio in Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), NU. His practise is rooted in the carving legacy of his brothers and grandfather, Nelson Takkiruq, and often takes the form of traditional legends and local animals.

Intricately detailed and finely textured, Iquallaq carvings combine a roster of unusual materials, from fossilized mammoth teeth to petrified wood and muskox boss. “It’s pretty tricky stuff when you get into detailed and figurative work,” Iquallaq says. “Once you remove something it changes the whole composition of the piece.” To give himself more room to play, Iquallaq prefers to carve from larger mammoth tusks where possible, which he sources from Russia and Siberia. One key piece in Iquallaq’s carving arsenal? A heated shed. “To do more detailed work I need to be able to move freely and take my gloves off. You just can’t do that kind of work when it’s -30° C outside.”

Since he branched into jewelry and accessories, metal has started making more frequent appearances in Iquallaq’s work. Created in response to the resurgence of tattooing taking place in his community, Traditional Inuit Tattoos features inlaid copper kakiniit (tattoos) encircling raised stone arms, a testament both to the resiliency of Inuit culture and to Iquallaq’s own ingenuity and creativity as an artist.

Find More Carvers

20 Carvers to Know in 2020: Damien Iquallaq

by Jessica MacDonald | Jan 13, 2020

“I am going to be carving for the rest of my life,” says Damien Iquallaq. Iquallaq worked at Ashoona Studios in Yellowknife, NT, before setting up his own studio in Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), NU. His practise is rooted in the carving legacy of his brothers and grandfather, Nelson Takkiruq, and often takes the form of traditional legends and local animals.

Intricately detailed and finely textured, Iquallaq carvings combine a roster of unusual materials, from fossilized mammoth teeth to petrified wood and muskox boss. “It’s pretty tricky stuff when you get into detailed and figurative work,” Iquallaq says. “Once you remove something it changes the whole composition of the piece.” To give himself more room to play, Iquallaq prefers to carve from larger mammoth tusks where possible, which he sources from Russia and Siberia. One key piece in Iquallaq’s carving arsenal? A heated shed. “To do more detailed work I need to be able to move freely and take my gloves off. You just can’t do that kind of work when it’s -30° C outside.”

Since he branched into jewelry and accessories, metal has started making more frequent appearances in Iquallaq’s work. Created in response to the resurgence of tattooing taking place in his community, Traditional Inuit Tattoos features inlaid copper kakiniit (tattoos) encircling raised stone arms, a testament both to the resiliency of Inuit culture and to Iquallaq’s own ingenuity and creativity as an artist.

Find More Carvers

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Janet Nungnik


Janet Nungnik is a talented artist from Qamani'tuaq (Baker Lake), NU, who uses embroidery and appliqué to create immense wallhangings that tell the story of her life and people. Nungnik has has two solo exhibitions in the previous year, The Eagle's Shadow at Marion Scott Gallery and a self-titled show at the MicMichael Canadian Art Collection. Nungnik will be featured in the upcoming Spring 2020 Threads issue as part of Krista Ulujuk Zawadski's piece "Threading Memories".


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Igloo Tag

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The Canadian federal government created the Igloo Tag Trademark in 1958 in order to protect Inuit visual art from mass-produced, fraudulent work. The trademark, most often applied to sculpture, is a safeguard for collectors and artists that only applied to works made by Inuit.

The Inuit Art Foundation accepted the rights to the trademark from the government in 2017. For the first time, the trademark is now led by Inuit, for Inuit.

 

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