Joe Talirunili was known as one of Povungnituk’s leading sculptors and printmakers. In 1962, he was one of the first artists of the community to take up printmaking and published over seventy prints within his lifetime. In much of his work Talirunili drew inspiration from his own memories of life along the shores of Hudson Bay, depicting human activity and particularly the migration of people by boat. As an infant, he was involved in a migratory journey in which several families became stranded on an ice floe and survived only by making a makeshift boat to carry them to safety. This event appeared frequently in his art. Owls also occur frequently in both his graphic work and his carvings. In making prints, Talirunili often drew directly onto the stone, an approach that resulted in strong, simple designs with little attention to extraneous detail as seen White Owl and Lemming.