SHEOUAK PETAULASSIE (1923-1961)
a California private collection
With seven prints made from her drawings in the 1960 annual collection, Sheouak Petaulassie was well on her way to becoming a rising young star of the graphic arts program in Cape Dorset when she tragically died in her thirties. She had not yet moved into the community and would visit Cape Dorset mostly in the summer.
Sheouak’s drawing style reveals her unique ability to show the interplay of positive and negative space, and the “spaces in between” things in unusual ways. Her drawings illustrated in the Strange Scenes catalogue are fascinating and revelatory. In the print Men Meeting Sheouak creates a simple zigzag space that illustrates the men’s embrace but also gives it meaning. The trio of birds placed between their heads fills the space with their topic of conversation. Lovely.
Reference: Jean Blodgett and Susan Gustavison, Strange Scenes: Early Cape Dorset Drawings (McMichael, 1993) pp. 106-111.
First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction www.firstarts.ca