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Naomi Ityi

Naomi Ityi is a textile artist from Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU who is considered one of the earliest creators of wall hangings in the North [1].  Ityi was one of the first women in Qamani’tuaq to create small pictures from wool scraps leftover from clothing projects [2]. When the Baker Lake Sewing Shop was established in 1971, her wall hangings and those of fellow creators became recognized as works of art.

Ityi uses a variety of different stitching types in her works, which create textural separation between the figures on each work. She uses blanket stitches to create rows on animals, v-shaped herringbone stitches to act as scales on fish and satin and chain stitches to create bursts of texture on other creatures [3]. By variegating her stitches this way, the animals in Untitled (1973) pop off the fabric in a variety of colours and attain a sense of motion, particularly when juxtaposed with the human figures beside them. Not only are they made more lifelike with the stitching techniques, but they also create unique colour and design choices on the wall hanging.

Ityi’s pieces have been showcased in many exhibitions across Canada and the US. Her works are found in major collections nationally, including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, ON, the Winnipeg Art Gallery and the Art Gallery of Guelph. 



Citations/Footnotes

  1. Winnipeg Art Gallery, “Naomi Ityi”, accessed February 6, 2019 from https://www.wag.ca/art/collections/inuit-art/display,collection/60154
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.