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Artist: Kenojuak Ashevak – Inuit from Ikirasaq, southern coast of Baffin Island
Cultural Background : Inuit from Ikirasaq, southern coast of Baffin Island (in Arctic Ocean of Northern Canada)
Like many Inuit artists, Kenojuak Ashevak has spent most of her life living on the land in a manner not unlike that of her ancestors. She was born at the south Baffin Island camp of Ikirisaq, and grew up traveling from camp to camp on south Buffin and in Canada’s Eastern Arctic.
Kenojuak first began experimenting with drawing and stone carving in the late 1950s. Her early work appeared in the Cape Dorset Annual Graphics Collections, launching a career that would include numerous national and international commissions, special projects and exhibitions. Her life and art have been the subject of a film produced by the National Film Board of Canada, and a book entitled “Graphic Arts of the Inuit: Kenojuak”, published in 1981.
Kenojuak Ashevak has been accorded many honors for her achievements. She received the Order of Canada in 1967, and was subsequently elevated to Companion of the Order. In 1993, Kenojuak was awarded Honorary Degrees from both Queen’s University and the University of Toronto.