a Toronto collection
Inuksuit (pl. of inuksuk) are stone structures commonly thought of as being built to look like human beings. They are typically used as markers and signposts in the Arctic. The odd, angular shapes that make up these two figures (of children?) presumably are meant to represent the shapes of rocks. Parr, one of the oldest graphic artists in 1960s Cape Dorset, began drawing when already in his sixties. His style is often compared to the drawings of young children, but it did evolve over the eight years that he drew until his death in 1969. This fascinating image is based on a slightly more complex felt pen composition that included two dogs. The stonecut print beautifully captures the lively, scratchy drawing style of Parr’s late period. The image has a slightly abstract, almost jazzy feel to it.
Note: this print was officially titled Innukshuit at Play, but this copy is one of several inscribed with the anglicized plural Innukshuks.
References: this image by Parr is illustrated in Leslie Boyd Ryan, Cape Dorset Prints: A Retrospective (Pomegranate, 2007) p. 75. For the original felt pen drawing by Parr see ccca.concordia.ca.
First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction www.firstarts.ca