Inuit Art by: Pitseolak Ashoona ~ 1904 - 1983

1967 - Innukshuk Builders by: Pitseolak Place of Creation: Cape Dorset Dimension: 55.9 x 66.7 cm; image: 39.4 x 47 cm maximum irregular Material Description: stonecut in green, orange and black on laid paper Cultural Association(s): Canadian culture

1967 - Innukshuk Builders by: Pitseolak

Place of Creation: Cape Dorset

Dimension: 55.9 x 66.7 cm; image: 39.4 x 47 cm maximum irregular

Material Description: stonecut in green, orange and black on laid paper

Cultural Association(s): Canadian culture

Biography of Pitseolak Ashoona

In Inuktitut, the language of Inuit, "pitseolak" means sea pigeon, and the artist liked to say, "When I see pitseolaks over the sea, I say, 'There go those lovely birds - that's me flying.'" These words are an eloquent testimony to the vivaciousness and zest that marked the life and work of this artist, Pitseolak.

After her husband’s death at Nettilling Lake, in the interior of Baffin Island, Pitseolak and her six children (she bore seventeen in all) made a journey of two hundred kilometres to Cape Dorset.

Determined to provide for her family herself, she earned a meagre living from her sewing, and was aided by family members; in fact, it was with the encouragement of her cousin Kiakshuk that she first ventured to do some drawings for the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative’s print studio, founded in the early 60s. This marked the beginning of a productive career that extended over the next 25 years. Pitseolak left thousands of drawings, including more than 200 that have been made into prints.

Source: National Gallery of Canada