Pitseolak Ashoona

Canadian, 1904–1983

Old Women Speak of Owl, 1974

stonecut on paper, 47/50

86 x 63 cm Image: 48.2 x 38 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Indian & Northern Affairs, Canada



Print, Inuit

Beginning in 1959 Pitseolak Ashoona created over 7,000 drawings, about 200 of which became prints for the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. In 1974 she was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and in 1977 she received the Order of Canada. She is the mother of five Cape Dorset artists: her sons Kiugak, Kaka, Ottochie, and Koomwartok Ashoona; and daughter Napachie Pootoogook. Pitseolak’s drawings document pre-settlement life, often from a feminine perspective, as well as shamanic practices and oral traditions, as seen in this print. Her lively images present a positive, often humorous, view of the world around her in spite of a life that was often difficult. In 1971 interviews with Pitseolak were edited and published by author Dorothy Eber in the biography Pitseolak: Pictures Out of My Life.

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