Simon Tookoome was known in his community as a skillful hunter, respected elder, justice of the peace, drumdancer, an expert with the forty-foot whip, and as a renowned artist. It was through his unique imagery in drawings, prints and sculpture that he became internationally acclaimed. He was a self-taught carver who began carving in stone and antler in the late 1960s, but it was his drawing that gave him the freedom to depict his ideas and images from his experiences of living on the land.
Besides making his drawings, he also was a stone-cutter, producing the blocks for most of his prints. After moving into Baker Lake in 1968, he worked in construction, mining, fisheries, and education (teaching carving to school children), as well as being a cameraman and interviewer for the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation. For forty-five years he attended and participated in solo and group exhibitions all over the world, contributed to the annual Baker Lake print collections from 1971-1990, and his art is documented and referenced in many catalogues and publications.
His drawings are a legacy that give us a rare glimpse into his shamanic world of transformation and offer us an insight into a world that has disappeared and is now all but forgotten.
©2011 Spirit Wrestler Gallery