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Marion Tuu'luq

Marion Tuu’luq was a renowned textile artist and printmaker. She was born on the land in 1910, at the Innituuq camp near Chantry Inlet. Tuu'luq lived a traditional lifestyle with her family before moving to Qamani'tuaq (Baker Lake), NU in the 1960s with her husband Luke Anguhadluq. There, Tuu’luq began making artwork, including prints, drawings and textiles.

Tuu’luq used her traditional sewing skills and adapted them to beading, and later wall-hangings. Known for her vibrancy of colour and symmetrical designs, Tuu’luq began to work in beadwork and textiles in 1969 [1], and continued for the next two decades to make textile work that depicted legends, traditional stories, as well as the daily life of herself and those around her, capturing the transition between life on the land and life in a settlement.

Tuu'luq's drawings and prints show her characteristic use of vibrant colours in harmony and juxtaposition, creating striking depictions of people and animals. Qimmiit/Dogs #2 (1978) depicts a group of dogs in brown, bright blue, mint green and black, their forms seemingly emerging from a single body. Tuu’luq’s illustrative handling of the image depicts the tension between naturalistic form and a simplified style, demonstrating the power of colour and simple forms to depict a narrative.

An act of cultural transition [2], Tuu’luq’s practice engages with identity and notions of home [3]. Her hangings explore cultural perceptions of the land [4], as well as her innate humour and personal identity as a woman artist [5]. Taken from the foundation of sewing clothing, these skills translate into a highly individual style, with a penchant for symmetry [6]. Tuu’luq’s work is at once aural and visual, sound and movement manifest [7] from the juxtaposition of colours and radial placement. One Man’s Dream (1988) shows the vibrancy and abundant life of the land, a symbiotic relationship between people, animals and the land they all share.  

Marion Tuu’luq’s long career spanned two decades, and her work across printmaking, drawing and textiles comprise a narrative of personal experiences and life on the land. Tuu’luq was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1978, and in 1990 received an honorary doctorate from the University of Alberta. Her work has been featured in the Sanavik Co-operative Print Collections (1977-1981), and has been exhibited across Canada and internationally. 

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Accomplishments

1990: Received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from University of Alberta
1990: The work Harmony Between Man and Animals was selected for North American Heritage Greeting-card series



Citations/Footnotes

1. Marie Bouchard, “Marion Tuu’luq,” Inuit Art Quarterly 18 no.1 (Spring/Summer 2003): 34-37
2. Ibid.
3. Ibid.
4. Ibid.
5. Inuit Art Quarterly, “Marion Tuu’luq,” Inuit Art Quarterly 9 no.2 (Summer 1994): 4-13
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid., from an interview between the artists and curators.