PAUL QUVIQ MALLIKI (b.1956)
Spirit Wrestler Gallery is excited to be hosting a rare solo exhibition by master artist, Paul Quviq Malliki, from Repulse Bay, Nunavut, Canada. This extraordinary selection of wonderful sculptures explains why Paul is, without a doubt, recognized as one of the outstanding and leading Inuit artists today.
Over the last 30 years, we have represented many of his artworks, but we have never had enough to build and mount an exhibition. The interest in his sculpture has grown in recent years as fewer and fewer carvings are making it to the South, with many of his pieces being purchased by people visiting or residing in the community. This makes securing his sculptures even more difficult - and building an exhibition almost impossible. This collection happened through our good fortune when we were offered pieces from various people who had lived in Repulse Bay, or had known Paul in the North, and wanted to support the idea of this exhibition for him highlighting his carving skills to an audience in the South.
Paul was born at an outpost camp near Iglulik in 1956, and when he was 5 years old completed his first carving. He has continued to carve all his life by watching and learning from other artists and teaching himself. “My father would be away for days hunting, trapping foxes. If I didn’t go with him I would carve to support the family, and if I wasn’t out hunting myself in the dead of winter”.
Over many years he has perfected his skills to create his own totally recognizable style of carving. He has become an internationally established sculptor exhibiting all over the world earning him many awards, including the Diamond Jubilee Medal from the Governor-General of Canada. The recognition has enabled him to derive his living entirely from his art, with his sculptures being presented to presidents, prime-ministers, dignitaries, and collected by private collectors, as well as by many leading museums and institutions.
He is an active man in his community, whether it is in an office or out on the land. He has been very involved as an ambassador in promoting the arts, acting as a carving teacher at the Arctic College in Iqaluit, serving as a board member on many initiatives, and is currently on the Board of Directors for the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association. He is also known for his knowledge of the land and is highly regarded for his skills as a dog-team driver, hunter, trapper, fisherman, and acts as an experienced guide and tracker for hunters or visitors from the South.
Paul is renowned for his intimate detailed carvings of human figures and most especially Arctic mammals. “My carvings are all to do with the animals, it’s the beauty of the animals that I’m trying to show all the time”. His understanding of the anatomy of animals is uniquely portrayed in his carvings, whether it is the muscles, ribs, muzzle and antlers of his caribou or the teeth, claws and inlaid pads on the paws of his polar bears. His animals are always captured in motion with realistic poses and are all finely carved, detailed, and polished wherever necessary. “People always want my work. I’ve learned most things by hunting. By seeing what’s around me. When I hunt animals, I study them and all the animals that are around us”.
For Spirit Wrestler Gallery this is a great moment, as we know his sculptures are a rare treat to represent- and certainly they are a must for you all to view!
Spirit Wrestler Gallery
101-1669 West 3rd Ave.
Canada V6J 1K1
Toll Free: 1-888-669-8813
one block West of the Granville Island gates
Between Pine St. and Fir St.
Tuesday to Saturday, open 10-5
Sunday and Holidays, open 12-5
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