Born in Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, NL, and currently based in Montreal, QC, Jason Sikoak is a practicing artist from Nunatsiavut currently working with mixed media, pen-and-ink drawing, rug tufting and linolieum cut printmaking. Sikoak’s early practice began by watching their uncle, Jack Mugford. They first began working in wood, like his uncle, and later paper and pencil as it became available. They have also explored stone, bone and antler before working with pen-and-ink more exclusively.
Often tackling themes both spiritual and political, they frequently renders their interpretation of Inuit life and spirituality on paper. The pen-and-ink drawing Sacrilege (2015) reveals the tense and violent conflicts between religious and shamanic forces. A missionary confronts a raven spirit manifesting above a qamuitk (sled) as an Inuk man is caught amidst the clash, a palpable horror in his eyes. In Hunter (2017), Sikoak depicts a traditional scene of a hunter hoisting his harpoon above a hole in anticipation of an approaching seal. The dynamic drawing is carefully inked across archival prints of the pages of Them Days—a publication dedicated to the history and stores of Labrador . Taken together, Sikoak’s work relays scenes of traditional life to record and preserve these pasts.
Their work is included in the travelling exhibition SakKijâjuk: Art and Craft from Nunatsiavut, which has been installed at the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg, MB and The Rooms in St. John’s, NL, among others. They hold a Bachelor of Fine Art in Studio Arts from Concordia University in Montreal. In 2021 they designed a commemorative coin for the Royal Canadian Mint’s Generations series and in 2022 they co-designed the Truth and Reconciliation Keepsake coin.
2016: Participated in iNuit Blanche by co-hosting a Transfers: Inuit Printmaking workshop with Sandra Baikie, Echo Henoche, Julie Nagam, Dinah Andersen, and Jessica Winters.
1996: Graduated with Honours from the Geology Technician program at the Keyin Technical Institute.