Makusikalla Aliqu Qullialu
Caribou and Otter, c. 1970
86 x 27 x 56 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; The Hudson's Bay Company Collection; Gift of an anonymous donor
This large-scale sculpture is unusual for the anthropomorphic “embrace” of an otter by a caribou. These two animals are not associated in life, although they may be part of an unknown legend. The composition is reminiscent of an intimate mother-and-child composition, and the smoothly polished surfaces contribute to the overall elegance of the work. The caribou is carved on a scale that is in proportion to the full set of actual caribou antlers that tower majestically over the animal. The realistic style reflects the general aesthetic of the artistic community of Puvirnituq, where the artist lived in the 1960s. This work is one of 181 sculptures that were originally part of the Hudson’s Bay Company Collection. They were acquired by the WAG in 1990, after the Company was sold and the collection dispersed.