Happy Nunauvt Day! To celebrate, we’re showing off ten Nunavut artists you need to know. Keep going to see the full breadth of art-making in Nunavut.
Ashley Kilabuk-Savard Sealskin and Fabric Earrings (2019) Courtesy the artist
Ashley Kilabuk-Savard is an Inuk artist and storyteller born and raised in Iqaluit, NU. Kilabuk-Savard studied acting at Vancouver Film School and has appeared in films and television. She also designs jewelry for her company Asli Savard Creative.
Tarralik Duffy Cow of the Sea (2015) Digital drawing, dimensions variable COURTESY THE ARTIST
Tarralik Duffy is a talented artist, jeweller and writer from Salliq (Coral Harbour), NU. Working primarily in jewellery design, she also uses textiles and other mediums to produce clothing and accessories for her label Ugly Fish.
Kenojuak Ashevak Majestic Owl (2011) Printmaker Qiatsuq Niviaqsi Stonecut 61.5 x 76 cm REPRODUCED WITH PERMISSION DORSET FINE ARTS © THE ARTIST
Kenojuak Ashevak, CC, RCA was a graphic artist from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. In the late 1960s Ashevak quickly gained recognition for her prints and has since become arguably the most renowned Inuit artist in the world. Her work was included in almost every Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection since 1960 until her death in 2013.
John Kurok and Leo Napayok Three Birds (n.d.) Stoneware 25.5 × 20 × 20 cm COURTESY ESKER FOUNDATION Photo M.N. Hutchinson
Leo Napayok is a ceramicist and carver from Salliq (Coral Harbour), NU, and Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet), NU. For much of his career, Napayok worked as a carver before transitioning to ceramics, where he is known for his unique, low-level relief carving technique.
Lukie Airut Celebration (2013) whalebone, caribou antler, white marble, baleen and soapstone, 106.68 x 152.4 x 45.72 cm PHOTO RJ RAMRATTAN
Lukie Airut was a carver from Iglulik (Igloolik), NU, who is best known for his elaborate walrus skull sculptures. Airut’s sculptures were influenced by the land and often featured animals, birds and people in traditional camps. Working primarily in bone, Airut carved in the round with each angle revealing subtle details.
Hinaani Design leggings from left to right: Retro Qihik, Tuktu Camo, Black Ulu, Piruqsiat, Purple Pana, Ukkuhikhaq Tunniit and Midnight Tunniit PHOTO HINAANI DESIGN
Keenan “Nooks” Lindell is an artist from Arviat, NU and one third of Hinaani Designs, which has been featured at Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto. As an artist Lindell creates traditional Inuit tools and has also worked in digital media in various roles.
Robert Kautuk Untitled (2019) COURTESY THE ARTIST
Robert Kautuk is a photographer based in Kangiqtugaapik (Clyde River), NU whose images afford viewers a unique perspective on life in the North. Kautuk captures stunning views of the Canadian Arctic and is particularly noted for his aerial scenes achieved with the aid of a drone.
Joel Maniapik Land Mark (1997) Wool and cotton 42" x 37" Tapestry artist Kawtysie Kakee COURTESY UQQURMIUT CENTRE FOR ARTS AND CRAFTS
Kawtysie Kakee is a weaver from Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), NU, who works as the Head Weaver at the tapestry studio at the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts. Kakee has designed over 60 tapestries as well as translated a number of drawings by celebrated artists in her community into vibrant textiles.
Janet Kigusiuq Blue Fish (1999) COURTESY THE ARTIST
Janet Kigusiuq was a multidisciplinary artist from Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU. Kigusiuq experimented with many different mediums including drawing, print, textiles, wall hangings and collage, which she created from hand-torn tissue paper.
Maudie Okittuq Sea Spirit Transformation (n.d.) Pyroxene and ivory 5 x 10 x 7 in COURTESY SPIRIT WRESTLER GALLERY
Maudie Okittuq is a sculptor from Ikpik (Thom Bay), NU, currently residing in Talurjuaq (Taloyoak), NU. Okittuq moved to Talurjuaq in the mid-1960s and became among the first in her community to begin carving. Okittuq’s work draws heavily from shamanism, often depicting spirits and transformation scenes.
Click here to see the full breadth of art-making in Nunavut!