Ningeosiaq (Ning) Ashoona is part of the large, well-known Ashoona family that includes her maternal grandparents Mayoreak and Qaqaq (Kaka) Ashoona. Ningeosiaq is one of the few women carvers active in Cape Dorset, and her capering seals, elegant loons and transformations represent her interest in arctic animals and Inuit traditions.

Mathew Flaherty is the youngest of the four artists, at just 22 years of age. Mathew is originally from Grise Fiord, Canada’s northernmost community. Though not from a family of carvers, he is related to Robert Flarhety, who made the iconic 1922 film, Nanook of the North. Mathew learned to carve by watching Looty Pijamini at work in his home community, then picked up more techniques from his friend Parr Parr when he moved to Cape Dorset. Mathew’s work represents the arctic animals he has seen around him throughout his life.

Johnnysa Mathewsie, like Ning Ashoona, is a mid-career artist who learned to carve by observing his elders at work. Johnnysa carves figures and animals, as represented in this collection by his killerwhale carvings or his birds with beautifully carved, up-stretched wings. But Johnnysa does not shy away from new subjects, as exemplified by his serpentine rotary phone complete with inset marble numbers.

Like some of the talents of the earlier generations, Pitseolak Qimirpik is incredibly innovative and willing to take on a wide variety of subjects in his carving. His dancing rabbits (which he calls Hip-Hop Hares) and dancing muskox are examples of his more conventional production, but his interests range to subjects as non-traditional as his dinosaur carving, a woman doing dishes, or a two-toned devil tormenting a man at his feet.

- back to the collection.