Photo Credit: Greg Norman
A lifetime of hard work and perseverance has focused his artistic talents into sculptures that are fluid in their movement, but full of a raw, visceral energy. Bobby was raised on the land, moving between camps by dogsled; meanwhile, the artistic spark was lit by his parents, who were both respected artists. He recalls learning to draw before he even had paper, using stones as a surface for his scenes; soon after he began carving with his father, who taught him to follow the shape of the stone to seek the spirit within it.
After many years of working physically strenuous jobs, he began carving professionally in 1991 and now does so full time, quarrying his own local stone and sourcing natural materials to include in his works. His preference is for the smooth, creamy dolomite of Kugluktuk, a stone flowing with faint layers and an intangible glow that effuses from the animals that Bobby carves with keen realism, as if frozen in time. Wings beginning to unfurl, talons gripping, fur fluttering in the wind – harking back to the lesson of his father, Bobby Anavilok truly captures the spirit in each of his creations.
We invite you to join us in exploring the profound connection Bobby formed with these animals in the nomadic lifestyle of his youth. Follow the trail of the caribou as he did, now carved in the strong, dark river stone from the watering holes where they would linger. Hear the thunder of musk oxen as they whirl about with an agility that belies their size, and see through the watchful eyes of the magnificent golden eagle. Bobby's veneration of these creatures and others is apparent in his repeated return to their forms - each time with a unique touch that unveils their individual character.