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Angrnaqquaq, Elizabeth
Untitled (Thirteen Animals)
c. 1972

Elizabeth Angrnaqquaq was born near Garry Lake, Northwest Territories, in 1916 and moved into Qamanittuaq (Baker Lake) with her family in the 1950s. In the early 1970s, she was one of the first members of a group of women to apply their highly developed sewing skills to the creation of wall-hangings. These textiles became popular in the southern market for Inuit art, alongside woven tapestries from Pangnirtung, NU. Her first public exhibition was held in 1976, and her work has subsequently been collected by major museums and galleries in Canada and the United States.

Qamanittuaq wall hangings are characterised by small, cut-out pieces of felt sewn onto a large background piece, which is then enhanced with decorative embroidery. In this case, the artist has chosen a banner style hanging and combines appliqué with embroidery. The repetitive animal motif appears frequently in Angrnaqquaq’s work; the animals themselves are natural in colour (despite the bright orange ground material) and reveal the artist’s understanding of animal anatomy and texture. Any decorative embroidery is confined to the animal shapes and the background remains blank and unadorned. By contrast, much of her later work is which entirely covered in stitchwork. The artist found inspiration for her subject matter from the land itself and in the words of Maria Muehlin, “Her hangings evoke a feeling of richness and abundance…”

 
Angrnaqquaq, Elizabeth
Garry Lake NU 1916-Qamani'tuaq NU 2003
Untitled (Thirteen Animals)
c. 1972
wool duffel, cotton thread
159.1 x 20.3 cm
Gift of Guardian Capital Group Limited, 2020
63-015.05

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