“Working in isolation in the small arctic community of Baker Lake, Northwest Territories, Marion Tuu’luq is far removed from the acclaim her art has received. For more than twenty years she produced wall-hangings and drawings, laboriously and lovingly portraying a world that is sometimes real, sometimes imaginary but always brimming with life, joy, and the bright colors, rich textures, and elegant forms that have become her trademark.
“Tuu’luq was born around 1910 at Back River, northwest of Baker Lake, where she led a traditional, humble existence. She married twice and gave birth to sixteen children, only four of whom are alive.
“… Tuu’luq’s artistic ability flowed naturally from her traditional skills and rich experiences on the land - the visual organization and manual dexterity developed in her past guiding her eyes and her hands. Her talent flourished under the nurturing guidance of artists Jack and Sheila Butler, who arrived in Baker Lake in 1969 to serve as craft officers for the community. The Butlers introduced her to beadwork and encouraged the making of drawings and large-scale wall-hangings. Tuu’luq favored the fabric medium and developed a fascination for heavily embroidered surface patterns rendered in bright colors. At times her visual interpretations were preconceived but most often she just picked up her scissors and started cutting images, developing her theme as she went along.”
Marie Bouchard, “American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century”, 1995
Marion Tuu’luq’s (second) husband, renowned Baker Lake artist Luke Anguhadluq, died in 1982.
Excerpt courtesy Inuit Art Section, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), 1997.
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