Flossie Papidluk


John Paskievich

Flossie Papidluk was an artist from Ulukhaktok (Holman), NT. Papidluk produced many drawings throughout her lifetime that were turned into prints by printmakers in Ulukhaktok. Papidluk was born near Read Island in what is now Nunavut. She spent the earlier part of her life living on the land and travelling seasonally, sometimes meeting up with other groups to form larger camps.  She travelled with her first husband Akoakhion to Banks Island, NT where their son Harry Egotak was born [1]. After Akoakhion’s death, she married her second husband Harry Niakoalok and the family relocated to Ulukhaktok.

To support her family, Papidluk began producing artwork and other crafts [2]. Her tapestry Fishing Through Ice represents an earlier initiative by Father Henri Tardy to bring the art market Ulukhaktok by experimenting with sealskin stencils [3]. In 1964 Barry Coomber was sent to the community by the Canadian government to introduce stonecut printmaking techniques to the Co-op, which prompted Papidluk to begin drawing as a means of income.

Papidluk’s prints were created using the stonecut printmaking techniques introduced by Coomber (popularised elsewhere by James Houston) prior to the influence of stencils or lithography [4]. Her prints featured bold shapes with definitive edges and detailed lines. Many of her works were done in a solid red or black. Exhausted Bear (1968) is an example of this technique, which depicts a hunter and dog in pursuit of a large polar bear. Papidluk imparts both the directionality and spatial relationship of the figures within the landscape by the movement of the dog’s body and stance of the hunter without directly visualizing rocks, hills, streams, or any other landmarks on the ground. Additionally, she frequently produced birds, such as the piece Nesting Loons (1979), and created a narrative of community events and traditions within her work. Her son, Harry Egotak, is often credited for turning her drawings into prints. Between 1966 and 1984 Papidluk contributed eleven prints to the Ulukhaktok Print Collection. Although known for her prints, Papidluk preferred to sew and was an avid seamstress. Her daughter, Margaret Kanayuk, has memories of her mother constantly sewing clothing, stuffed animals and sealskin tapestries [5]. 

Papidluk’s work was included in the exhibition Holman: Forty Years of Graphic Art, at the Winnipeg Art Gallery from March 2001 - 2004. She was also featured in the online exhibition and publication of the same name. She was frequently part of group exhibitions of prints from Ulukhaktok that took place in Canada and the United States, and her work is held in the collections of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Canadian Museum of History, Gatineau, and University of Alberta Art Collection, Edmonton. Papidluk lived to the age of 90, passing away in 1994.

About Flossie Papidluk

Medium:

Beadwork, Drawing, Fabric, Seal Skin, Textile

Artistic Community:

Ulukhaktok (Holman), NT

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.

1904

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.

1994

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December 15, 2017 Created By: Rebecca Gray