MARK TUNGILIK (1913-1986), ᒪᑭ ᑕᒐᓕ, Repulse Bay / Naujaat
FAMILY OF OWLS
signed in syllabics, c. 1975
6 x 7 x 3 in — 15.2 x 17.8 x 7.6 cm
Mark Tungilik’s carving career spans around forty years, and though he is most well-known for his depictions of musk ox, his works represent a wide range of subjects. Family of Owls is a classic example of Tungilik’s stumpy, smooth style. The uniform, minimal detail of the carving reinforces the familial representation with its roundness, the eyes and beak the only distinguishing factor between the three owls. The owls’ unified bodies render a protective, nurturing role, as the inset eyes stare outwards, captivating the viewer.
Jean Blodgett, Selections from The John and Mary Robertson Collection of Inuit Sculpture, exh. cat., 1986, page 79 for a closely related work.