Silas was born in 1956 in Hall Beach, the son of two artists, Joanasi and Martha Kayakjuak. Silas learned to carve at an early age by watching other family members carving. He began to carve at the age of eight and produced his first serious carving when he was twelve. Natural talent, a keen eye for balance and movement in the human figure, experience of hunting and living on the land combine to give Silas’s work an appealing warmth and charm.
His work reflects a keen interest in the human figure: “… I carve people in movement and everyday life. My father used to carve animals, and he used to say that all his life, he’d looked at people’s faces and, after all those years, he’d never learned to carve the face. I challenged him and started carving people in movement, balanced and [pursuing] their lifestyle.”*
Silas moved to Ottawa in the late 1980s and has been carving full-time since. Silas’s work is in collections all over the world and has been purchased for presentation to foreign dignitaries, music conductors, and art lovers alike from all walks of life. In 1999, Silas’ stone carving was featured part of the exhibition called Northern Rock, Contemporary Inuit Sculpture at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinberg, Ontario.
*quote from “Silas Qayaqyuaq Wants to Share Ideas With Other Artists”, Inuit Art Quarterly, Spring, 1995, p. 25.
Excerpt ©1997 Inuit Art Section, INAC