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20 Carvers to Know in 2020: Verna Taylor

Jan 17, 2020
by Napatsi Folger

The Taylor-Pokiak family of Tuktoyaktuk, Inuvialuit Settlement Region, NT, are famous for producing world-class carvers, and Verna Taylor is no exception. Learning from family members like the late Bobby Taylor Pokiak, and Derrald, Ronnie, and John Taylor, Verna’s life has been steeped in her craft since a young age. It is easy to see similarities between Verna and Derrald’s works in the detailed fur and natural movement of their stone animals.

The exaggerated faces and beaks on Taylor’s animals have become a signature which lends a unique flare to her work. Her brown soapstone animals often include eagles, polar bears, muskox and fishing men, but one of her favourite subjects to carve are mother and child images, despite the difficulty involved with getting the necessary detail. Taylor generates a high polish on her pieces, whose shiny brown surfaces are unique among Inuit sculptors. Arctic life is an important inspiration for Taylor’s work and it shows in the natural movement of her figures.

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