Imaruituq comes from a very artistic family. Her father, the late Toongalook (1912-1967) was an artist. Her brothers, Phillip Qamanirq and Lew Phillip are both carvers. Her sisters, Rebecca Issuqangituq and Martha Erkasak Naqitaqvik are also artists in Arctic Bay.
Imaruituq learned to carve whalebone first, and later began making sculpture in stone. Inspired by her father’s carvings, she learned by watching him and others who carved in the community. “Although I can carve anything, I generally do human figures; if I were a hunter I would carve more animals. When I carve I include every small detail. It’s a great deal of work and very tiring, but I try to make them very clear. …I like carving so much. Sometimes I prefer doing it to housework, so the children come home to a very messy house because both my husband and I carve.”* Imartuituq’s husband, Juda Taqtu, makes sculpture and drawings.
*Susan Cowen (ed.), “We Don’t Live in Snow Houses Now: Reflections of Arctic Bay”, Canadian Art Producers, 1976, page 163
Excerpt courtesy Inuit Art Section, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), 1997.
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