“Janet Kigusiuq is best known for her graphics but has also gained significant recognition in the medium of fabric art. She was born in the Back River area of the Keewatin region of the Northwest Territories and is the eldest daughter of Jessie Oonark. Oonark was one of Baker Lake’s—and Canada’s—most distinguished artists. Kigusiuq was encouraged by her mother to draw as a means of making money to supplement her family’s meager income.
“With uncanny clarity and a steady hand, Kigusiuq draws intimate portrayals of neighbors, friends, and relatives engaged in the daily activities of camp life rendered in minute detail, often from multiple viewpoints. She also enjoys portraying the myths and legends told to her as a young child by her grandmother. Over the years her style has evolved from a strong linear style with color as a decorative accent to a more painterly style where vibrant colors are applied in thick overlays of colored pencil. Kigusiuq’s graphic art incorporates, in a limited manner, Western conventions of spatial perspective—shapes sometimes overlap, and there are subtle implications of volume and space.”
Marie Bouchard in “North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary”, 1995
Janet’s husband, the late Mark Uqayuittuq (1984), was also an artist. Janet is the daughter of Jessie Oonark and most of her brothers and sisters are artists: Victoria Mamnguqsualuk, Nancy Pukingrak, Peggy Qablunaaq Aittauq, Mary Singaqti Yuusipik, Josiah Nuilaalik, Miriam Marealik Qiyuk and William Noah.
Excerpt courtesy Inuit Art Section, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), 1997.
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