Kudluajuk Ashoona Untitled (2015) Ink and coloured pencil 58.5 x 76.2 cm © Dorset Fine Arts
“If my carvings are small, I can sometimes bring a few to the co-op to sell, but if they are large, I bring [them in] one at a time. I feel good after I’ve sold a carving. Sometimes I feel that I am not paid enough for my work, but most of the time I am happy. I like to carve seals and loons the best.”
— Ning Ashoona
Tim Pitsiulak Carver’s Income (2009) Ink and coloured pencil 76 x 56 cm Courtesy National Gallery of Canada
Noah Natakok Woman with Carving (2009) Stone and ivory 31.75 x 14 x 12.7 cm Courtesy Canadian Arctic Producers Photo Erin Yunes, Abbott Imaging
“I used to sell carvings to the co-op every week, but now I make one or two a year as I’m hunting more and doing projects for the people of Kimmirut. I’ve bought files and sand paper with the money I’ve made from carving, because it’s better to have new tools that work better. When you sell a carving, you feel alive, like you made art out of a rock that God put there for someone to make something with.”
— Koochy Kolola
Kananginak Pootoogook Tools (2006) Ink and coloured pencil 66.4 x 50.8 cm Courtesy Feheley Fine Arts
Shuvinai Ashoona Selling Sculpture (2012) Ink and coloured pencil 88.9 x 127 cm © Dorset Fine Arts
This piece first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of the Inuit Art Quarterly.
Interviews with Ashoona and Qimirpik took place by telephone on January 10, 2017, with Joe Takpaungi acting as a translator for Ashoona. Natakok was interviewed over Facebook Messenger on January 9 and February 3, 2017. Kolola responded via email on February 16, 2017. These interviews have been edited for clarity and condensed.