“Not for being an idle one, he likes to balance on one foot without falling. After balancing, he started dancing and enjoying the feeling of being a dancer. (He) did not know he was being a bird!”
Toonoo’s parents, Josephee Sharky and Ragee Killiktee, were both carvers, though he credits his grandfather Kuppapik Ragee and his uncle Shorty Killiktee as influences. Toonoo started carving at ten, began to get serious at thirteen and first exhibited when he was just seventeen. He is regarded as one of the most exciting young carvers to emerge in the Arctic. His themes include fanciful and quite dramatic treatments of wildlife, particularly birds, and transformational works that are both powerful and humorous. His work is widely shown, and he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 2003.
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