Leo Uttaq

Leo Uttaq
Inuit Art Foundation


Leo Uttaq (b. 1964) is an Inuk artist from Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven), NU, whose practice consists primarily of sculpture, but also includes drawing, painting, and jewellery.

Uttaq comes from a family of artists. He and his brother, carver Simon Uttaq, learned to carve from their father. Throughout his career, Uttaq has divided his residence between Taloyoak and Gjoa Haven. Part of his artistic process involves obtaining stone from the local quarry and antler and whalebone from the land, materials that he then transports home on his ski-doo.

While much of the sculpture that comes out of Uqsuqtuuq bears a highly expressionist style that is distinguished by its use of distortion[1], Uttaq’s works, by comparison, are somewhat more restrained. They often reveal the inspiration he draws from natural forms, even though thematically he remains largely concerned with the spiritual. Motifs that recur in his carvings include spirits, shamans, and transformations, which are given shape through his depictions of faces, arctic animals, and dancers.

In 1999, Uttaq participated in the Kitikmeot Carvers’s Symposium at the Ottawa School of Art, a two-week program of studio work and technical training that culminated in the annual Qaggiq, where he was a featured artist.[2] Over the years, he has participated in the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik, the Nunavut Arts Festival,[3] and various exhibitions in the Yukon and in Ontario.[4] His work is included in the Amundsen’s Gjoa Haven Collection 1903-1905, a digital project by the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, Norway.[5]

About Leo Uttaq


Graphic Arts, Jewellery, Painting, Sculpture

Artistic Community:

Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven), 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.