TIM PITSIULAK (1967-2016)
Gallery Indigena, Stratford, ON
Private Collection, London, ON
Born in Kimmirut (Lake Harbour) in 1967, Tim Pitsiulak’s remarkable body of work draws on his personal experiences living in Cape Dorset and hunting its surrounding territories. Though well-known for his large-scale mythical graphite and pencil drawings of Northern wildlife, including polar bears, walruses, and Bowhead whales, he later shifted his focus to documenting vernacular life in Cape Dorset. In these realist drawings of modern machinery such as four-wheelers, aluminum boats, and cargo planes, Pitsiulak maps familiar characteristics of his community. Many of his drawings make use of stark black backgrounds, which soon became a kind of signature for him, and also serve to uniquely frame and intensify the drama within his subject matter. Along with producing drawings and prints, Pitsiulak was also trained in jewellery-making and carving, proving his exceptional range and capabilities as an artist. Pitsiulak passed away in 2016 at age 49 from complications due to pneumonia.
Matthew Ryan Smith, Ph.D., is the Curator and Head of Collections at Glenhyrst Art Gallery in Brantford, Ontario.