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Product Tag: Kiakshuk (1886-1966)

Qiaksuk / Kiakshuk was born in 1886 on the southern coast of Qikiqtaaluk [Baffin Island], Nunavut. He was already in his seventies when he began to make drawings and prints. In 1961 James Houston introduced engraving to the artists in the newly established print studio, (experiments began in 1957 but the first annual collection was released in 1959), and Kiakshuk embraced this difficult medium. Although he was interested in stonecut and stencil prints, the direct nature of the engraving process appealed to his personal aesthetic. Kiakshuk is also noted for his less frequent efforts as a carver and printmaker. A well-known storyteller in the community he became highly respected for his ability to translate an oral history, tales of the hunt, of animals, family life, shamans and spirits, into graphic media. Kiakshuk’s drawings impressed not only southern buyers but fellow Inuit who recognized that he created “real drawings” from his traditional life and experience on the land. He was known as an “excellent hunter and trapper” who was well versed in traditional hunting skills and who would become comfortable hunting with a gun when introduced to it. He was also believed to have been a shaman as a young man. He died in April 1966. His 1960 print, the Summer Tent, would be released as a stamp in 1979. (via Concordia & Katilvik)

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