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Derrald Taylor

Jan 06, 2020
by Napatsi Folger

Derrald Taylor’s mastery of observation is immediately clear when looking at his body of work, an oeuvre that is rich with motion and realism. From the subtle rendering of the guard hairs that line the neck and legs of his signature polar bears, to the coarse lines of umimmak manes, flowing as smoothly as the wind through tall grass, Taylor’s representation of animals are highly technical. His preferred materials are stones like serpentinite or chlorite because they afford him room for fine detail. Not only does Taylor carve what he sees, he also gleans inspiration through careful looking. “I follow the shape of the stone and try to use as much [of it] as possible,” says the artist.

Much of his skill was developed by watching, not only his father Bobby Taylor-Pokiak (1927–2005), but also notable carvers Inuk Charlie and Bill Nasogaluak. Taylor, who is based in Yellowknife, NT, notes that, “as artists, we’re continually learning, so I wouldn’t call myself a professional artist. A well-taught artist, but not a professional.” Despite his modesty, Taylor has had a prolific career as a sculptor and continues to bring life to stone in unique detail by following the natural curves of his medium.

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