Alain Iyerak


Alain Iyerak was a sculptor from Iglulik (Igloolik), NU. Iyerak was born near Naujaat (Repulse Bay), NU, and also lived in Igluligaarjuk (Chesterfield Inlet), NU [1]. He used bone, stone and antler in his carving practise to create pieces that reflected on traditional Inuit ways of life. Iyerak’s son is the sculptor Joseph Qulluak Iyerak [2].

Hunter in Kayak (n.d.) was sold at auction in 2016. This piece includes the accessories of traditional hunting practice, such as the avataq (seal-skin float), which was used both as a safety device and hunting tool, and the harpoon strapped to the front of the kayak. Iyerak has reversed the materiality of his subject matter, portraying the hunter and sealskin in stone and rendering the kayak and paddles with bone, using the darker stone to contrast the bone but also ironically depicting his living subjects in ‘dead’ material.

Iyerak’s works still appear at auction but many are held in the public collections of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the McMichael Gallery, and the Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal.

One of his sculptures is on permanent display on the upper floor of the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly Building [3], and another was presented to the Speaker of the House of Commons in Ottawa in 1967, to be placed in the recently remodelled Commonwealth Room of the Parliament Buildings [4]. His sculptures have been exhibited at galleries across Canada, as well as in Boston, and he was most recently featured in the exhibition Ivory, Bone, Antler and Horn: Masterworks of Inuit Sculpture at the McMichael Gallery in 2018 [5]. 

Artist Work

About Alain Iyerak



Artistic Community:

Iglulik (Igloolik), NU

Date of Birth:

Artists may have multiple birth years listed as a result of when and where they were born. For example, an artist born in the early twentieth century in a camp outside of a community centre may not know/have known their exact date of birth and identified different years.


Date of Death:

Artists may have multiple dates of death listed as a result of when and where they passed away. Similar to date of birth, an artist may have passed away outside of a community centre or in another community resulting in different dates being recorded.

The Igloo Tag Trademark
The Igloo Tag Trademark is an internationally recognized symbol that denotes handmade, original artwork made by Inuit artists in Canada. Established in 1958, the Trademark is now managed by the Inuit Art Foundation. The appearance of the Igloo Tag on an artist profile means they have had the Trademark applied to their artwork.