Simon Tookoome

Canadian, 1934–2010

Shaman, 1971

graphite, coloured pencil on paper

75.2 x 57.8 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; The Swinton Collection



Drawing, Inuit

Simon Tookoome has lived in Baker Lake since 1968 and is one of the community’s most prolific artists. He made his first drawings in 1971, and powerful imagery has continued to flow from his imagination ever since. His uncle, Oohuluaq, was a shaman with whom he had a close relationship, as described in Tookoome’s book, The Shaman’s Nephew: A Life in the Far North, published in 1999. Many of the artist’s drawings, prints, and sculptures reflect his knowledge of shamanism and of the close relationship between humans and animals. He puts visions from his dreams into his art, and he has observed that “on the land, animals and people are one.”

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