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Oonark, Jessie
Untitled Untitled
c. 1970 c. 1970

Jessie Oonark, one of the most well-known and prolific Inuit artists, was born in 1906 in the Black River area, Nunavut, and is a member of the Utkusiksalingmiut people. Having spent the first fifty years of her life living a traditional lifestyle off the land, her artistic practice across various media (drawing, prints, wall hangings) is greatly influenced by these experiences. After settling in Baker Lake in the late 1950s, she began drawing and soon caught the attention of the local arts advisor. In the 1960s, she began sewing wall hangings, a natural extension of her vast experience processing skins and sewing parkas and clothing. Between 1970 and 1985, over one hundred of her drawings were turned into prints, but sadly her career ended in 1979 as she lost feeling in her hands. Oonark is the only artist who did not reside in the region to be included in the Cape Dorset print collections of 1960 and 1961.

Oonark, Jessie
Black River area, near Qamani'tuaq (or Baker Lake) NU 1906-Churchill MB 1985 Black River area, near Qamani'tuaq (or Baker Lake) NU 1906-Churchill MB 1985
Untitled Untitled
c. 1970 c. 1970
wool felt, coloured cotton thread wool felt, coloured cotton thread
128.7 x 261.6 cm
Gift of Guardian Capital Group Limited, 2020 Gift of Guardian Capital Group Limited, 2020
63-015.40

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