Canadian, b. 1943
The Great Male Caribou, c. 1971
coloured pencil on paper
52.3 x 75.2 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Edmund and Virginia Berry
William Noah, the youngest of Jessie Oonark’s eight artistic children, was 14 when his family moved to Baker Lake. He began drawing in 1963 and started working as a printmaker in 1971. In recent years he has explored different media including paintings and digital prints. Although a few of his early prints from the 1970s have shamanic references, Noah’s main interest is the Arctic landscape and the animals that inhabit it. He has created many depictions of brilliantly coloured caribou and muskoxen reflecting the light from the rising and setting Arctic sun. By the late 1970s his approach with coloured pencils on paper became painterly, with forms defined by colour rather than by line. In this drawing the animal merges with the landscape in a joyous burst of light and movement as the sun illuminates the land.