The Other World: Spirits, Demons, and Visions of Transformation
March 12 — 17, 2022
Auction begins to close at 2:00 pm ET
JESSIE OONARK, O.C., R.C.A. (1906-1985)
Estate of W.A. Ross MacFadden, Toronto, ON
In The Coming and Going of the Shaman: Eskimo Shamanism and Art, author and curator Jean Blodgett describes the powers of the Inuk shaman to take flight as follows:
“Shamans could fly to the moon, to the sun, to the heavens, and to the underworld. They visited deities above the earth and below the sea. They flew or descended to the bottom of lakes and to the lands of the dead, both in the sky and underground. They might fly through space or around the earth. They were transported by spirit helpers and benign deities. They also traveled from one earthly locale to another; from Canada to Point Barrow, from the Diomede Islands to St. Lawrence Islands, or even from Alaska to San Francisco and back.” 
In this iconic and powerful image, The Flight of The Shaman, Jessie Oonark presents an angakkuq (shaman) bedecked with their attendant spirits. Wraith-like, the figure of the angakkuq appears only in outline, arms swept backwards as the wings of a bird.
The proceeding print, number 9, in this edition of 50 is held in the collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Cat. No. Gr.1971.63.
Government of Northwest Territories, Baker Lake prints/estamps 1971, Ottawa, Ontario: Canadian Arctic Producers Limited, 1971. pl. 13.
Blodgett, Jean; Bouchard, Marie, Jessie Oonark: A Retrospective, Winnipeg: Winnipeg Gallery of Art, 1988. p. 114, pl. 42.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, MMAF Cat. No. Gr.1971.63. See: https://www.mbam.qc.ca/en/works/20390/.
1. Blodgett, Jean, The Coming and Going of the Shaman: Eskimo Shamanism and Art, Winnipeg: The Winnipeg Gallery of Art,