Canadian, b. 1950
Old Qulliq Being Carried by a Woman, 2000
stone, marble, caribou antler, muskox hair, sinew
64 x 34 x 16.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from George William Battershill in memory of his wife Helen Battershill and with funds from an anonymous donor
Since he began carving in the early 1960s, Mattiusi Iyaituk has established an international reputation for his innovative and witty sculpture. In the late 1970s he developed a unique, abstract style that was inspired by early Inukjuak sculptures of the 1950s featuring inlaid ivory faces. In later years he has worked on a larger scale in a range of materials. He usually inscribes whimsical titles on his carvings, which he sees as simply a starting point for a viewer. Old Qulliq Being Carried By a Woman is a visual pun. The qulliq, which suggests the body of the woman, is a real stone lamp that was found on the land near Ivujivik. Besides creating an innovative composition, the artist is also revealing his attachment to his traditional culture.