Sunday, February 15, 2015

Inuit portraits

I got a call last evening from Zacharaiasie Nappatok, an Inuit friend living in Akulivik in Nunavik, previously known as Norther Quebec.  Our friendshop goes back many years to a time when I was printmaking advisor to the Inuit artists of Povungnituk and regions around the Hudson's and Ungava Bay coasts.

Of the many drawings and paintings I did of that region I thought I would  post a few.

Inuit hunter from Inukjuak, Regrettably I forgot his name

Zacharaiasie Nappatok. Artist and freind Povungnituk

Kanayook, manager of the Printshop

Abraham Neahok, Artist Povugnituk

Luccasie Tookaluk.  Artist Povungnituk

Markusi Qualingo, Hunter Povungnituk

Moses Tuktuk, Povungnituk

Paulusi Novalinga, Hunter Extraordinaire Povugnituk

Thomassie Irqumiak, Artist and son of Juanisaluk Irqumiak

6 comments:

Todd Sullivan said...

One day you're going to have to teach how you get that line work.

Polina Radtchenko said...

Wow, these are great Werner. Such interesting faces. Did they pose or you drew them in secret?

werner zimmermann said...

Thank you Polina.

Most were from life as they sat with me. Sitting for me would have felt odd for them so it was usually during a visit that I would sketch them.

The first was from memory and photo reference since he was a shy man who I would see both around the village of Inukjuak and often coming in to sell a carving.

I worked with Kanayook in the Printshop in Povungnituk. He was a good man, shy and sometimes confused by our interactions since I spoke no Inuktitut and he no English. Somehow we made it work.

Abraham Neahok sat for me but since it was very brief I finished from a photo. So too Paulusi Novalinga, who was a very impressive individual...strong and self assured hunter who's fathter was somewhat of a legend in the village. Paulusi too had little time and patience for sitting long. Those I consider cheating since from life it was more direct. Even finishing from a photo seemed as if I somehow cheated the directness.

Lucassie Tookalook was the father of my close friend at the time Qualingo Tookalook. Like his son, Lucassie was gentle and soft spoken yet out on the land as fearless as he was fun.

Markusi Qualingo seemed like an ancient god of sorts. A powerful and highly respected hunter but now limited to the village unless someone took him out, he sat for me and softly told stories of hunts that a companion would translate. Then he would go silent, deep in thought or memory. I caught him in one of those moments.

Moses Tuktuk was a drifter who was so visually impressive I paid him to stick around so I could draw and paint him. He had a gentle quiet about him and yet the power to toss a skidoo if he wanted to.

Thomassie Irqumiak is the son of Juanisaluk Irqumiak, who I consider the most powerful and original of all Inuit artist. I know that 'experts' would vehmently disagree, but his work was truly beautiful. Thomassie too was a gifted artist but a young one that didn't fit into the 'Eskimo Art' genre of the day. As advisor to the Inuit printmakers I hired along with his close friend Sakariasie Nappatok to work in the printshop and create their own works. Both Thomassie and Sak were done from life.

So there you have it...some true and some cheated. But all from the heart.

Gavin Ball said...

Awesome stuff Werner! Great to hear their stories too.

Gavin Ball said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
werner zimmermann said...

Thanks Gavin.