Axangayuk Shaa, RCA
(1937 - 2019, Cape Dorset)
Axangayuk began carving in the mid 1950’s at the behest of James Houston and over the next 60 years he created some of the most sought after and admired work of his generation.
Axangayuk was a natural sculptor and a proponent of sculpture in the round, emphasizing the qualities of volume, space and texture in his carvings. His subjects were suggested by the shape of the stone and although he shunned details, his work was imbued with a dynamic energy and dramatic expression. Blessed with a robust constitution, Axangyauk continued working up until the last few months of his life.
Axangayuk was often asked to try his hand at drawing or printmaking but he preferred the physical process of carving stone. He did however create one of the most successful prints in the history of the Cape Dorset Annual Print collection, a 1961 stone cut titled ‘Wounded Caribou.’ Last year he hearkened back to that image, creating one of the most popular prints of the 2018 collection as well as a series of original drawings and etchings.
Axangayuk was a quiet, kind and dignified man with a dry wit and an infectious smile. He will be missed by his family, his many friends and neighbors in the community and by all those who appreciate Inuit art.
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