Jennifer Ningiuk

Jennifer Ningiuk
Courtesy the artist

Biography

Jennifer Ningiuk is an artist from Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord), NU, who creates beaded earrings and other accessories like necklaces and keychains, which she sells online through her business Arnait Creations.

Ningiuk began beading in early 2020, initially taking up her practice as a hobby—inspired by looking at what creators on Instagram were doing. Shortly thereafter, with a piece of paper and a pencil, she began drawing out and creating her own shapes and designs. It was “a lot of mistakes here and there at first,” Ningiuk says [1]. One of her early additions to beading was working with fox fur, which she uses to create pom pom dangles.

Today, her favourite design to create is shaped like an ulu blade, with beads running along the bottom. The use of naluaq, a form of sealskin that has been scraped and bleached white, sets her work apart: “It’s very easy to work with,” says Ningiuk, who is able to draw her templated designs directly on the skin before cutting. However, she admits it’s very difficult to find. Ningiuk also enjoys working with antler, specifically using it as a cab centrepiece and beading around it. From the texture to the unique coloration of the bone, “it just makes everything pop out, no matter what you put with it,” she says. The act of beading around the centre also brings forward the meditative quality that is a key part of her practice.

By June of 2020, Ningiuk had collaborated with Piulaa Creations to design and release a 20 piece earring collection. She has since released several other collections, both in collaboration with other jewellers and as a solo artist, and has begun to sell in person at local craft fairs. Ningiuk is also beginning to harvest her own fur; she recently trapped and cleaned her first fox, creating pom poms from its fur. She plans to do more trapping in future, while also working in the Inuit Mentorship Program at Environment and Climate Change Canada in Iqaluit, NU. Beyond expanding her repertoire, her immediate plan for her practice to “enjoy the moment, enjoy creating, and enjoy making beautiful pieces.”


This Profile was made possible through support from RBC Emerging Artists.

Artist Work

About Jennifer Ningiuk

Medium:

Jewellery

Artistic Community:

Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord), 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.

1998