Nuna Parr

Nuna Parr
Inuit Art Foundation


Nuna Parr is a multimedia artist based out of Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. His parents’ artistic abilities brought them to the Kinngait co-op where they were regularly part of print and graphic collections [1]. Parr began carving at a young age as a way to earn extra income and had an affinity for wildlife, rendering them in soapstone [2]. He began carving on a smaller scale during recess while still at school, it is not until he was older that he began carving on a larger scale. Parr’s work depicts animals in fanciful and human-like poses, graceful in their movement, in juxtaposition to the solid pieces of local stone that he uses. Parr is a skilled hunter on the land, and his careful observation of arctic wildlife serves him well in his art practice with his realistic rendering of animals.

Known for his bear sculptures Parr says that he always keeps his audience in mind, and would choose rough stone that is best suited for a particular carving [3]. In Playful Walrus (1983) Parr demonstrates his playfulness is depicting a longing walrus. The deep green stone has lighter flecks of colour and light striations to portray falling rivulets of water falling from the figure, as well as mimicking the coat of the walrus. The languid and playful pose has the walrus recalling on a rock, rendered more roughly than its smooth body. A flipper props the body above the stone it’s resting on, addicting to the visual perception of the heavy weight of the body, a secondary flipper catching another in play. The body features rolls, adding to the idea of life-like skin of the animal, the stone polished smooth to give an impression of a sleek coat. Most of the detail on the head is in the striations and colours of the stone itself, with Parr meticulously carving the eyes in a realistic depiction, giving the figure life. With minimal carving for the mouth, the tusks are inset in ivory, two grinning flashes of white against darker stone. 

Parr has had a long and prolific career, exhibiting nationally and abroad. His work is held in many public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada. 



1980: Invited by Public Works Canada to submit sketches for low relief carvings to decorate the exterior of the parliament buildings.

Artist Work

About Nuna Parr


Graphic Arts, Sculpture

Artistic Community:

Kinngait (Cape Dorset), 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.

Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU
The Igloo Tag Trademark
The Igloo Tag Trademark is an internationally recognized symbol that denotes handmade, original artwork made by Inuit artists in Canada. Established in 1958, the Trademark is now managed by the Inuit Art Foundation. The appearance of the Igloo Tag on an artist profile means they have had the Trademark applied to their artwork.

Edit History

November 21, 2017 Lera Kotsyuba
November 16, 2017 Jane Darling