Ashevak Adla is a mid-career carver from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, who specializes in serpentine wildlife sculptures. He often depicts walking and dancing bears, as well as playful seals and walruses, but his favourite thing to carve is birds with outstretched wings .
Adla was taught to carve by his grandfather, sculptor Aoudla Pee. After watching his grandfather carve birds at age eleven, Adla used his grandfather’s tools to make his first carvings, simple bird and seal heads. After witnessing Nuna Parr and his son Jutani working on their signature bears, Adla branched out into carving bears as well . As he got older, his other grandfather, Kalai Adla, encouraged Adla to make carving his profession full-time . Adla carves almost exclusively in serpentine. Although an axe and hacksaw were formerly his tools of choice, he now primarily uses power tools for his pieces.
Glowing Bear (n.d.) is a great example of one of Adla’s signature subjects. Adla has used the colour variation of the stone to suggest luminescence, and polished the piece to a high shine so that it will reflect the most light possible. With his downcast head and slow, lumbering gait, this bear looks as though he is coming to the end of a long journey. The rippling bands on the body almost suggest reflected light in the sky above, the northern lights leading him home across the tundra.
Adla’s works have been featured nationally and internationally since the late 1980s. His first solo exhibition was in 2000 at the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver. In 2005, his piece Bird Shaman Transformation (2002) was featured on the cover of Cape Dorset Sculpture by Derek Norton.
1. Dorset Fine Arts, Ashevak Adla, Accessed March 13, 2020 from http://www.dorsetfinearts.com/ashevak-adla
2. Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, Ashevak Adla, Accessed March 13, 2020 from https://inuit.com/pages/ashevak-adla
3. Dorset Fine Arts, Ashevak Adla,
Accessed March 13, 2020 from http://www.dorsetfinearts.com/ashevak-adla