Telling Stories: Narratives of Nationhood

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Young People in Art

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Johnny Inukpuk
Mother and Child
About the Artist and the Work  |   Looking at the Art  |   Artistic and Cultural Heritage
image of artwork
Johnny Inukpuk, Mother and Child, prior to 1964. Soapstone carving. 77.5 x 35.0 x 30.5 cm. Collection of CCAG.



Johnny Inukpuk is an Inuit carver noted for his very powerful figures. He was born in 1911 near Port Harrison, Quebec (Inukjuak). He is known for his talent for observation and his attention to detail in his carving. Inukpuk was one of the first Inuit artists to achieve individual recognition by art collectors in other parts of Canada.

Soapstone carving is a traditional art practice in the Inuit community. Inuit sculpture communicates the experience and life in the North and its often harsh conditions. It presents elements of the animate universe, often people and animals, rather than landscapes and intangible themes. This sculpture, Mother and Child, was created in the early 1960s. It speaks of both the Inuit way of life and the relationship of mother and child.