Paul Toolooktook

Paul Toolooktook
Inuit Art Foundation


Paul Toolooktook (1947—2003) was a carver based in Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU. Born in the Tipjalik (Beverly Lake) area of the Kivalliq region in Nunavut, he hails from an artistic family. Toolooktook’s mother, Martha Aptanik, was a carver and printmaker. Basil Aptanik, his step-brother, was also an artist [1]. Toolooktook was involved with the Uyaraqtaqtiit artists’ association during the mid 1990s.

He is noted for his stone carvings that frequently depict human or animal figures, such as muskox, birds, seals, caribou, fish and bears. Toolooktook’s carvings also present the numerous relationships between humans and animals as well as spiritual figures or practices. In Kneeling Woman (1970), Toolooktook reveals a woman dressed in a large, dark parka with her face tilted upward. She is kneeling while holding a head in her left arm. Toolooktook’s other carvings feature shamans, the Arctic sea goddess Sedna, women transforming into birds, or thought-provoking figures with both animal and human characteristics.

In 1970, Toolooktook travelled alongside fellow artists Syollie Amituk (1937—1986), John Pangnark (1920--1980) and Eliyah Pootoogook to Osaka, Japan, to carve works in the Canadian Pavilion at Expo '70 [2]. In 1977, Toolooktook attended the British Columbia Gem and Mineral Show to present his art. He demonstrated and exhibited carvings at the Calgary Stampede, Edmonton's Klondike Days and the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, BC. In 1978, he was also a featured carver at the Vancouver Boat Show in Vancouver, BC.

Toolooktook’s work has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions between 1965 and 2001 at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, ON, Marion Scott Gallery in Vancouver, BC, the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg, the Bayly Art Museum at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA, and many others.  

Artist Work

About Paul Toolooktook


Graphic Arts, Sculpture

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.


Date of Death:

Artists may have multiple dates of death listed as a result of when and where they passed away. Similar to date of birth, an artist may have passed away outside of a community centre or in another community resulting in different dates being recorded.

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.