Gloria Inugaq Putumiraqtuq

Gloria Inugaq Putumiraqtuq
Courtesy the Artist


Gloria Inugaq Putumiraqtuq is a textile artist and translator from Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU, who currently resides in Ottawa, ON. Her textile work consists primarily of embroidered and appliqued wallhangings, as well as crocheted hats.

Putumiraqtuq began creating wallhangings at age twelve under the guidance of her mother Winnie Tatja, a well-known wallhanging artist in her own right. She is “my lifelong mentor” says Putumiraqtuq, crediting her mother with her early interest in the art form and an enduring influence on the work she creates to this day, both in her stitchwork and the subject matter she chooses to portray. “While we were sewing together, my mother would tell stories about culture and traditions and the life they lived. As I learned to sew and understand the reasons, she made her designs connected to her experiences,” Putumiraqtuq says. “I keep her legacy to keep our culture and traditions alive and pass them on to the future generations.” [1]

The wallhangings Putumiraqtuq creates use a wool duffle base with felt applique and colourful decorative stitchwork. Although size is highly variable, thematically her work typically features naturalistic forms created using her own patterns—she describes her wallhangings as a “visual history of Inuit land, traditions, resilience and cultural stories my mother told me.” Composition (Ice Fishing & Caribou Hunting) (2002) shows this history in action, depicting a variety of figures engaged in activities like dogsledding, fishing and hunting, as well as culturally significant tools like fishing spears and inuksuit, which were historically used for wayfinding. Appliqueing each item with an individual piece of felt, Pututmiraqtuq then created patterns of feathers and fur for the animal figures and clothing trim, ice blocks and other small details all using embroidery thread in a variety of stitches.

Beyond her textiles practice, Putumiraqtuq has been a freelance translator since 2007, working for a variety of companies on English to Inuktitut translation. She has been the primary translator on multiple books. Putumiraqtuq had her first solo show at Feheley Fine Arts in 2001, and in 2003 two of her works were acquired by the Canada Council Art Bank. She has continued her mother’s tradition of passing along knowledge, leading wallhanging workshops and sewing groups in Iqaluit from 2005 to 2007. “My purpose is to share the vision and activism that is one of the ways to build and maintain relations with Inuit art,” she says. “I like to learn new experiences, whatever they may be,” she says about what’s next.

In February 2023 Putumiraqtuq was longlisted for the 2023 Kenojuak Ashevak Memorial Award.

Artist Work

About Gloria Inugaq Putumiraqtuq


Literature, Textile, Visual Arts

Artistic Community:

Qamani'tuaq (Baker Lake), 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.