Land of Plenty: Gjoa Haven Sculpture

Uqsuqtuuq, the Inuktitut name for the community of Gjoa Haven, loosely means “plenty of blubber”, referring the many sea mammals that are local to the area. The community is also abundant in its artistic creativity. Since the 1970s, Gjoa Haven sculptures have been renowned for their spiritual energy, characterized by eccentric facial expressions and exaggerated forms seen in depictions of … Read More

What type of stone is this?

“What type of stone is this?” is one of the most common questions we receive about sculptures, and it’s a good one. While many think of Inuit sculpture as synonymous with “soapstone” (the name given to a specific type of soft stone), artists across the Arctic in fact use a variety of local stone types that are available in their … Read More

Spectacular Beings

Forward In the early 1960’s, pencils and papers were distributed to the fledgling artists of Cape Dorset with the aim of developing an arts and crafts program in the community. Some people took up the challenge with gusto and bravado while others approached the sheets of paper with doubt and trepidation. Looking for guidance, they were simply instructed to ‘draw … Read More

Samonie Toonoo: Scream

Edvard Munch’s well-known—and much written about— painting, The Scream, was created in 1893, and is widely considered to represent the universal anxiety of modern man. It depicts a screaming figure with a skull-like face, who appears to be in the throes of an unknown emotional crisis.  This image is now one of the most familiar in art history, having been … Read More

Kenojuak and Onward

Generations Series The very existence of our recurring ‘Generations’ series suggests a profound trend toward the artistic within Inuit families. Questions are tantalizing: Does artistic talent run in the blood, or is it culturally or socially determined? Why are there so many artists in a relatively small community such as Cape Dorset? Are there connecting threads between related artists of … Read More

Toonoo’s Legacy

Sometimes one moment can become the axis around which a whole universe spins. The world remembers 1969 as the year of Woodstock’s quest for harmony and the first moon walk that became a celebration of man’s technological advancements. Meanwhile, in the Arctic the I were making their own advances, navigating the treacherous journey from traditional camps to modern settlement life. … Read More