Talelayu Opiitlu (Talelayu with Owl), 1979
stonecut, stencil on paper, Co-op proof
60 x 68 cm Image: 37.5 x 50 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Indian & Northern Affairs, Canada
Many honours have been bestowed on Kenojuak Ashevak in recognition of over 50 years of artmaking, including the Governor General’s Award for the Visual and Media Arts in 2008. She has been a mainstay of the Cape Dorset print program from the first annual collection in 1959 to the present day. Her Enchanted Owl, reproduced on a Canadian postage stamp in 1970, has taken on the status of a Canadian art icon. The owl has remained one of her favourite subjects over the years, rendered in fanciful and decorative interpretations. In this WAG print the owl is shown with another frequent subject, the female sea spirit Taleelayuk. A talented seamstress, Kenojuak transferred her skill at making inset designs in animal skin clothing to producing drawings and prints.