Andy Miki was a carver from Arviat, NU who was known for his abstract and simplified sculptures. Miki created minimal, small-scale sculptures and distinguished himself from his peers in Arviat by depicting animals rather than the more commonly depicted human figures. His favoured subjects were bears, caribou, birds and dogs. Miki drew his inspiration from personal observations of Arctic wildlife rather than from Inuit oral traditions or creatures of his own imagination . A rare exception to this approach is his sculpture titled Transformation (n.d.), which visualizes the transition between an animal figure and a human head.
Miki’s carvings focused on the heads of his figures rather than the torso or limbs. The animals he portrayed were made recognizable primarily by an emphasis on their noses, mouths and ears. Occasionally, Miki used minimally etched lines to portray facial features on his figures . Despite the lack of facial expressions and abstracted forms of Miki’s sculptures, his works appear animated.
Miki’s works were included in numerous prominent exhibitions during his career including Eskimo Point/Arviat (1982) at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg, MB and The Williamson Collection of Inuit Sculpture (1987) held at the Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK. Miki’s work was recently featured in the exhibition Nanuk’s Journey (2017) held at the Stratford Perth Museum in Stratford, ON. Miki’s works are held in the collections of prominent artistic institutions including the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg, MB and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON.
1. Bernadette Driscoll, Eric Anoee and George Swinton, Eskimo Point/Arviat (Winnipeg, MB: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1982), 24-25.
2. Jennifer Cartwright, “Visions,” Inuit Art Quarterly 16, no. 3 (Fall 2001): 43.