JOE TALIRUNILI (1893-1976), E9-818, Povungnituk
stone, wood, hide, thread
11.5" x 10.5" x 3.5" — 29.2 x 26.7 x 8.9 cm.
This work is a depiction of a significant event that took place during the artist’s childhood. While traveling to new hunting grounds, several families were stranded on an ice floe that split from the mainland. They built an umiak out of scarce supplies and in haste as the ice floe was melting. Some people perished during this tumultuous migration. When the group finally spotted land, it appeared to be drifting away from them therefore one man with a rifle shot at the land to prevent it from moving any further. Some of Talirunili’s versions of the Migration have included a list of the names of the survivors. Although similar due to the subject matter, each boat is unique, the number of people aboard as well as their positioning varies and the occupants have been depicted as owls and hares in other versions of the Migration.
For other examples, see Waddington’s auction catalogues, November, 1999, lot 251; November 2001, lot 350; April 2006, lot 236; November 2012, lot 98.
Other versions of the Migration are part of the following major collections and coinciding exhibition publications:
The Jerry Twomey Collection at the Winnipeg Art Gallery: Inuit sculpture from the Canadian Arctic, Darlene Coward Wight, WAG, 2003, pg. 36
Grasp Tight The Old Ways: selections from the Klamer Family Collection of Inuit Art, Jean Blodgett, AGO, 1983, pg. 27 & 209
Inuit Modern, Gerald McMaster et. al, AGO, 2010, pg. 112
The Isaacs/Innuit Gallery, Toronto, 1975,
Private Collection, Toronto