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Ullulaq, Judas
Figure of a Man
NWT 1937-Talayoak NWT 1999

Judas Ullulaq was an Inuit artist born just north of Taloyoak, in the Kitikmeaot region of the Nunavut. As a child, he spent a lot of time with his sisters and mother, and as a result, learned to make dolls. His later carving practice, begun in 1961, is dominated by small to medium sized figures in ivory, bone, antler and stone, and was influenced by his earlier doll-making experiences. Having first started carving ivory miniatures, he was one of the first artists around the 1960s who began carving in whalebone. Like much of the sculptural output of artists from this region, Ullulaq’s work often deals with supernatural and shamanistic themes.

This bone carving is characteristic of his work, with its exaggerated gestures, expressive face, flaring nostrils and inlaid eyes. Given the appearance of this work, it is probable that Ullulaq was influenced by his nephew Karoo Ashevak, who frequently worked in whalebone and produced numerous humourous and dynamic sculptures. This figure incorporates the rounded contours and almost ghostly forms of Ashevak’s work and maintains a whimsy typical of Taloyoak sculpture.

 
Ullulaq, Judas
NU 1937-Gjoa Haven NU 1999
Figure of a Man
NWT 1937-Talayoak NWT 1999
bone
33.5 x 21.9 x 10.9 cm
Gift of Guardian Capital Group Limited, 2020
63-015.62

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