BEAR

INUIT: ASHEVAK TUNNILLIE

STONE

ARTIST
BIOGRAPHY

Ashevak Tunnillie was born November 2, 1956 in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. In his family, he is the third generation of artists. He followed in the footsteps of both his mother, Tayara Pee, and his father, Qavaroak Tunnillie, who were accomplished carvers while his grandmother, Ikayukta, contributed to the Cape Dorset print collection for many years.

Having lived in a traditional Inuit camp for part of his life, he uses the knowledge he gained of polar bears to give shape to his pieces. Polar bears are this artist’s favorite subjects, but he also carves seals, caribou and birds. He enjoys carving immensely.

Ashevak Tunnillie’s work was included in the 1989 "Masters of the Arctic: An Exhibition of Contemporary Inuit Masterworks," which toured for more than a decade.

His work embodies a fluid sense of movement and incorporates the inner nature of the particular stone. Skilled at carving in the round, Ashevak's sculpture focuses on form and movement. His conscious interplay of positive and negative space gives his sculptures an openness of design and a strong presence.

Recognized for his beautiful imagery of wildlife, Ashevak demonstrates sensitivity and he often adds a humorous touch in his depictions of both animals and the human figure.

Ashevak Tunnillie’s work has also been shown throughout Canada, the United States, Belgium, Germany and France, including the Musée des Beaux-Arts de France, as part of the exhibit entitled “Inuk, Inuit: Art et tradition chez les Esquimaux d'hier et d'aujourd'hui”.

His works are also held in several notable collections, including the Amway Environmental Foundation Collection in Michigan and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada.

Selected Exhibitions:
  • MASTERS OF THE ARCTIC: An Exhibition of Contemporary Inuit Masterworks. Ada, Michigan: Amway Corporation, 1989.
  • AN ENDURING TRADITION II: Inuit Carving from the Northwest Territories. Vancouver: The Inuit Gallery, Vancouver, 1983.
  • DIE KUNST AUS DER ARKTIS. Mannheim, Federal Republic of Germany: Inuit Galerie, 1986, 1986.
  • Musee des Beaux-Arts (Arras, France) INUK, INUIT: Art et tradition chez les Esquimaux d'hier et d'aujourd'hui. Arras, France: Musee des Beaux-Arts, 1987.