(1959 - 2015)
Born in 1959, Jutai Toonoo is the son of graphic artist Sheojuk and sculptor Toonoo. Jutai’s exposure to diverse art practices at a young age undoubtedly influenced his decision to become a sculptor, and molded the direction of his practice. Jutai began carving at the tender age of seven, and since then he has become an acclaimed artist who views his work as an attempt to reconcile the imperfect world around him. Jutai’s sculptures often depict human figures in the midst of transformation, representing Jutai’s belief in the power of the spirit world and its relationship to our earthly, temporal world. He refers to his sculptures as his ‘frustrations,’ echoing his interest in navigating and synthesizing the identity of both the old and new worlds of the Arctic through his art practice. Jutai’s work is often abstract in form, which serves to accentuate their spiritual, ethereal inspiration as well as his decidedly modern vision of Inuit art. He often incorporates text, which he describes as revealing itself organically to him during the creative process.