Mother and Child, 1952
stone, ivory, black colouring
19.5 x 10.8 x 8.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; The Ian Lindsay Collection; Acquired with funds from the Volunteer Committee to the Winnipeg Art Gallery
Sheokjuk Oqutaq was well known for his realistic style and elegant compositions. In later years his favoured subjects were birds, intricately carved in green serpentinite. However, in his early years his work was mainly figurative. He began carving ivory miniatures in about 1946 when he lived near Kimmirut. When stone carving was encouraged in the Cape Dorset area in the early 1950s, Sheokjuk continued his use of ivory with black incised details for human heads to give realism to his figures. Before the discovery of a stone deposit at Tatsiitag at Markham Bay on South Baffin Island in the mid-1950s, carvers from Cape Dorset often used hard granite or other stones found on the ground. Sheokjuk has made good use of this material in the contrast between the delicate ivory faces and the less expressive dark stone.