A Canadian Inuit sculptor, Margaret Uyauperq Aniksak was born just inland from the community of Arviat (Eskimo Point), Northwest Territories, on the west coast of Hudson Bay. Uyauperq Aniksak’s family moved to Churchill, Manitoba, for several years, then back to Arviat. She married Paul Aniksak there in 1938, and began stone carving in the mid-1960s.
In a community whose stone sculpture is notable for its roughness, lack of detail and compactness, Uyauperq Aniksak’s work could be considered fairly naturalistic. Facial features, hair braids, and clothing details are carefully rendered, making her depictions of the mother-and-child theme especially sensitive and poignant. Uyauperq Aniksak also produces fabric collage wall-hangings, which illustrate traditional camp life. These incorporate bleached caribou skin, sealskin, felt, and beadwork. She is considered to be Arviat’s leading producer of the soft white caribou suede used in fine clothing and crafts.
In “North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary”, Ingo Hessel, 1995.
Margaret’s children, Susan Sinnisiak Seelo, Joy Pameeoke Aniksak, and Andrew Panigoniak, are artists in Arviat. Susan is a sculptor, and a craft and wallhanging artist; Joy and Andrew are sculptors.
Excerpt courtesy Inuit Art Section, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), 1997.
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