(1932 – 2006)
Born in 1932 in Ennadai Lake, the late Luke Anowtalik was raised according to traditional Inuit beliefs and customs. When the caribou migration shifted in the late forties, Luke and his younger sister Rita lost both their parents and faced starvation themselves until they were relocated to Churchill, Manitoba. Luke began his artistic career at a young age, as he recalls selling his first caribou antler carvings to government employees based at Ennadai Lake. Relocating to Arviat, Nunavut after the starvation years, Luke continued to carve in antler, although he also worked with the hard, grey basalt stone quarried in the region. Luke’s compositions are often elaborate figural carvings, expressing his interest in the unity of people and traditional Inuit legends and spirituality. His antler carvings often feature groups of people with stylized features and playful expressions, while his stone carvings often contain multiple heads and faces emerging from a single mass of stone. Luke’s wife, Mary Ayaq Anowtalik, is also a celebrated sculptor based in Arviat.