Tony Curley is a sculptor/carver based in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. He has noted that he has “a natural instinct in my soul” for creating his artwork . Curley has been creating carvings for more than 30 years.
Curley is inspired by Arctic wildlife that live in and around his northern community, and primarily creates carvings of animals such as bears and birds. His sculptures of birds, particularly geese or swans, appear delicate and graceful with elongated necks and smooth feather details. Curley often carves with marble or serpentine; a firm, green, brown or black metamorphic rock from the lower region of Qikiqtaaluk (Baffin Island) .
Bear (2018) is an example of one of Curley’s serpentine carvings. The sleek black creature appears as though it is on the verge of action. Its long nose is thrust into the air, and its large paws stretch out to support the weight of its wide body. Curley has created a bear frozen in focus. It looks as though it is waiting to smell or listen before it moves again. Bear highlights how Curley’s sculptures express movement or a feeling.
Curley’s artwork was exhibited widely between 1979 and 2012 within art galleries in Canada, such as Feheley Fine Arts in Toronto, ON, the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver in Vancouver, BC, and the Collector's Gallery of Art in Calgary, AB. His sculptures have also been included in other exhibitions internationally, such as Arctic Forms – Inuit Sculpture (1988) at the Arctic Inuit Gallery in Richmond, VA, United States, Baffin Island Sculpture (2001) at the Albers Gallery of Inuit Art in San Francisco, CA, United States, Inuit Sculpture (1988) at the Gallery Marie-Louise Wirth in Zurich, Switzerland and the Die Kunst aus der Arktis (1979) at the Inuit-Galerie (Mannheim) held at the Rathaus Foyer in Mainz, Germany.
1.“Tony Curley,” Cape Dorset Inuit Art, 2012, accessed July 5, 2019, http://capedorset-inuitart.com/artists/tony-curley/.
2.“Tony Curley,” Inuit Art Sculptures.com, n.d., accessed July 5, 2019, http://www.inuitartsculptures.com/biographies/tonycurley.htm.