KENOJUAK ASHEVAK, C.C., R.C.A., CAPE DORSET/KINNGAIT, E7-1035, Cape Dorset
unframed 24.25 ins x 36.5 ins; 61.6 cms x 92.7 cms
Kenojuak is widely regarded as one of Canada’s foremost artists and a pioneer of Inuit art. She was born in an igloo at Ikirasaq, an Inuit camp at the southern coast of Baffin Island to Silaqqi and Ushuakjuak, a highly respected shaman. From 1952-1955 she was hospitalized for tuberculosis in Quebec City, where she learned to make dolls and do beadwork. Her artistic abilities attracted the attention of civil administrator and early proponent of Inuit art James Houston and his wife Alma. Houston introduced print making to Cape Dorset in the late 1950s, and he and his wife began marketing Inuit arts and crafts. Kenojuak was the first woman to become involved with the newly established printmaking shop at Cape Dorset. Her artwork garnered immediate critical acclaim. Her career spanned more than 50 years and by the time of her death in 2013, she was a member of the Order of Canada, the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and Canada's Walk of Fame. Likewise, she held several honourary degrees and was the subject of numerous biographies and film documentaries.
Kenojuak’s graphics, based on her personal imagery and which often feature the arctic owl, are amongst the most celebrated and reproduced images from Cape Dorset.