I like to draw birds, Sedna, seals and beluga whales. They are the most fun and I really enjoy seeing them in the wild. It’s always a good feeling when you see your art work published and know that people appreciate it. -Kakulu Saggiaktok
Kakulu was born in 1940 on the Hudson's Bay Company's supply ship Nascopie, en route from Clyde River on North Baffin to Pangnirtung. At that time, her parents and older brother were members of a small group of Inuit who had traveled from South Baffin to trap and hunt furs in the northern regions of the island. Kakulu was just a child when she moved back to the Cape Dorset area.
Kakulu began to draw in the early 1960's when the newly established co-operative introduced its graphic arts program. Many of her images explore the concept of transformation, with animals blending into other animals, humans becoming animals and vice versa. This is an important theme in traditional Inuit folklore and mythology, where the natural and supernatural worlds were mediated by the shaman. Kakulu’s 2007 print “Sedna’s Realm” is an ambitious collaboration with Studio PM in Montreal. Etching has always been well suited to Kakulu’s style and “Sedna’s Realm” is a delicately detailed, totemic arrangement of amphibious creatures as only Kakulu can imagine them.
Kakulu's mother Ikayukta (now deceased), was also one of the early contributors to the annual print collections from Cape Dorset. Her older brother was Qavaroak Tunnillie, a prolific and talented sculptor (also deceased). Kakulu is married to Saggiaktok, who for many years was a printmaker in the stonecut studio. He would frequently proof and edition those images by Kakulu that had been chosen for stonecut prints. Kakulu and Saggiaktok live in Cape Dorset with their four children.