Walrus and Bird, 1994 by Mayoreak Ashoona, Inuit
Walrus and Bird, 1994
by Mayoreak Ashoona, Inuit
Cape Dorset, Nunavut
stonecut and stencil
Mayoreak Ashoona was born in 1946 at the South Baffin camp known as Saturituk. She was married to Kaka Ashoona (now deceased), a notable carver and the son of the late Pitseolak Ashoona. After Kaka’s death, Mayoreak and her children moved back to Cape Dorset from their isolated camp on the southern coast of Baffin Island.
Mayoreak began drawing in 1963, and is known for her imaginative and highly coloured graphics. She has been consistently represented in the Annual Print collections from Cape Dorset since her work was first published in 1978. She is also recognized as a master carver in her own right.
Mayoreak has contributed to exhibitions presented in Canada, Germany and Japan. In 1986, she took part in the exhibition entitled "Northern Exposure: Inuit Images of Travel" organized by the Burnaby Art Gallery with the Department of Northern Development and the Government of the Northwest Territories. She was one of nine featured artists in the acclaimed exhibition Isumavut: The Artistic Expression of Nine Cape Dorset Women, which opened at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in the fall of 1994.
For the past several years Mayoreak has been living in the senior citizen's residence in Iqaluit. She has recently moved back to Cape Dorset but her age and poor health have prevented her from drawing or carving. Her beautiful and majestic Tuulirjuaq (2009-15) has been two years in the editioning, given the challenges presented by its scale and complexity. Rising to those challenges with skill and determination, the printmakers in the stonecut studio have executed an impressive and memorable tribute to Mayoreak and her career.