Pavinak Petaulassie


Pavinak Petaulassie  is a sculptor from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. Petaulassie first learned to carve from local sculptors and his father in the 1970s [1]. Petaulassie most often depicts northern wildlife but has carved human figures such as hunters, mothers, children and a person holding a handstand. Petaulassie primarily carves in serpentine, favouring stone in laurel to dark green hues. He has stated a preference for carving in stone as he finds it easier to work with than other materials [2]. However, he does incorporate antler elements into some of his works and has on occasion carved composite sculptures from walrus ivory and stone. His style is naturalistic and robust, concentrating the volume of material in the torso of his subjects.

Petaulassie’s work is frequently identifiable by his carving technique of linking multiple individuals together from a single piece of stone. This technique is exemplified in the piece School of Fish (n.d.). The sculpture portrays a wave of fish, held at the base by the claws and belly of a polar bear. The shapes of the fish represented in the sculpture are diverse, occupying a spectrum of bulbous heads and elongated bodies. Petaulassie skilfully evokes a sense of synchronous movement within the piece, the flow of the current visualized in the wavelike formation of the school and the sinuous articulation of each individual’s body. The composition avoids becoming overly dense by Petaulassie’s effective use of negative space and careful delineation of each figure. A similar sculpture of Petaulassie’s titled School of Fish (2013) is held in the permanent collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg, MB [3].

Artist Work

About Pavinak Petaulassie



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, NU
08 October 1961
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.

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March 21, 2018 Created by: Rebecca Gray