Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

Pitseolak Ashoona

CM, RCA

Inuit

Cape Dorset, Nunavut Territory, Canada

(1904-1983)


Pitseolak was the mother of several Cape Dorset artists, the Ashoonas: Ottochie, Koomwartok, Kaka, and Kiawak; and Napatchie Pootoogook.

“One of Canada’s best known artists, the Inuit graphic artist known simply as Pitseolak was born on Notingham Island in Hudson’s Bay. She lived the last twenty-five years of her life in the settlement of Cape Dorset, where she became one of the most famous, and certainly the most prolific Inuit graphic artist. Pitseolak produced more than 7,000 original drawings in her twenty-four-year artistic career.

The subject matter of Pitseolak’s prints and drawings is generally the traditional way of life of the Inuit before the coming of the Whites. Scenes of camp life, fording a river with dogs, or sewing a skin tent remind both the artist and viewer of what life was like for previous generations, before the appearance of airplanes, snowmobiles, and satelite dishes. Pitseolak’s narrative drawings serve as a means of recapturing these old ways and making them vivid for younger generations of Inuit.”

Artist Contemporaries