The Canadian Art Database

Aqviat [Arviat/Eskimo Point], Nunavut

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Located north of Churchill, Manitoba on the west coast of Hudson Bay the name translates as “the place of the bowhead whale”. About 1600 people live in Aqviat where small business, visual arts and traditional hunting flourish equally. Aqviat is noted for its sculpture media. Abstracted yet elegant forms, pared-down to the essentials of shape and line, identify the stone sculpture from this community. The stone indigenous to the area resists detailing and many works, while predominantly smooth in effect, have marks on parts of the surface of the stone from the artists’ axe and file intact. While the stone sculpture has a monumental feel, imbued with emotion and personal narrative, incising of superficial line drawings and beading are sometimes added. Constructions in caribou antler, usually featuring multiple figures pegged together on an antler base or connected on gut twine, are made to a lesser degree in Aqviat.

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