MANASIE AKPALIAPIK (1955-), Arctic Bay / Ikpiarjuk
OWL WITH RAISED TALON
bone, musk ox horn
17.5 x 16 x 10 in — 44.5 x 40.6 x 25.4 cm
"Whale bone is undoubtedly one of the most challenging raw materials available to Inuit artists. As a carving medium, it is brittle, porous, and hard, and must be aged fifty to a hundred years before it is suitable for carving, thereby demanding that artists scour beaches and scavenge nineteenth century whaling sites for the oldest sources available.
Despite these challenges, the rewards for its use are equally great. Whale bone enables artists to create large scale sculptures that draw on its unique shapes and material properties, often highlighting the evocative contours of the monumental vertebrae, or exploiting its highly expressive and varied textures, which can variously mimic fur, fabric or human skin... and evoke a sense of the ancient with its weather worn appearance".
Heather Igloliorte, "Whale Bone Sculpture Playing Against Type" in Sandra Dyck and Ingo Hessel (eds.), Sanattiaqsimajut, Inuit Art from the Carleton University Art Gallery Collection, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa, 2009, page 89.
Private Collection, Toronto