Peter Qumaluk Itukalla or “Peter-Boy”, as he is sometimes called, was born on January 14, 1954 at his parent’s winter camp on the outskirts of Puvirnituq. At present, he lives in Puvirnituq with his wife Winnie, and their two children. Peter and his older brother Juanisi [Joanassie Jack Itukalla], are the nephews of the well-known carvers Levi and Inukpuk Qumaluk. His sister is Maggie Ittukallak. Born into such a talented family, which also includes both the late Joe Talirunili, and Davidialuk Alasua Amittu, it is not surprising that Peter became a carver. Although his father, Aisa Aviliaju Itukalla began carving in the early 1950s it was really his grandfather, Pauloosie Oolutaju Itukadluk, who encouraged Peter to carve as a boy of eight years old.
Today Peter maintains an extremely active lifestyle, which includes hunting and trapping, with either his skidoo or dogsled, volunteer work with community sports programs, and artistic production both in prints and carvings. In May 1976, Peter experienced culture shock for the first time when he attended, and participated in, a southern arts and crafts show held in Willowdale, Ontario. Peter’s carvings are remarkable for their animated style. His renderings of human figures and animals are alive with tension and movement that is not simply implied, but fully realized in dramatic poses: a bear digs his claws into the soft underbelly of a walrus, a hungry child clutches at a chunk of meat held out to it by its mother. Occasionally Peter enhances the vulnerability of the figures by depicting them naked; frequently, their theatrical sense of drama stems from the single gesture of an extended hand or a menacing paw.
Excerpt courtesy Inuit Art Section, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), 1997.
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