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    HOME » CAPE DORSET » 1980 » Ashoona, Pitseolak
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Item # P80CD46-C- Price: C$1,500
Title: Dogs Cross River Dated: 1980 - Signed
Artist: Link   Ashoona, Pitseolak
~~LAST ONE~~   
Edition: #26 / 50 
Community:  Link   Cape Dorset      
Size: inches/cm 30" x 19"
76.2 cm x 48.3 cm
Style: Stonecut
Description: Among the first in Cape Dorset to begin drawing Pitseolak Ashoona remained, until her death, one of the most prolific of the communities artists. Prints of her drawings appeared in every Cape Dorset collection from 1960 until her death in 1983! Her works have received widespread public acclaim. Pitseolak's works hang in the National Gallery of Canada and other important public collections. Hundreds of her drawings have been printed making her the most extensively published of the Cape Dorset graphic artists. In 1977 she became the second Cape Dorset artist to be awarded the Order of Canada for her artistic achievements. [Kenojuak was the first in 1967].
Seemingly unaffected by the widespread repute that her graphic work achieved, Pitseolak spoke simply and unassumingly about her live and her drawings. She was born in 1904 on Nottingham Island in the Hudson's Strait when her parents were travelling between Northern Quebec and Baffin Island. Pitseolak grew up in various camps on the south Baffin coast and was married as a young woman to Ashoona. She and Ashoona had a large family: twelve natural children, including four who were adopted out and one who died in infancy. Pitseolak had vivid memories of her life with Ashoona, a strong hunter, and of wandering between distant hunting camps. Ashoona himself died during an epidemic in the Nettling Lake area when still in his prime leaving Pitseolak to raise their large and young family. She continued to move with her children to different camps settling permanently in Cape Dorset in the early 1960's.
Explaining her decision to begin drawing Pitseolak is recorded as having said: " I started drawing after others were drawing. I was here in Cape Dorset... nobody ever asked me to draw. Because my son's [Qaqaq's] wife died when his two children were very young, his children used to stay with me. One night I was thinking, 'maybe if I draw they will get something'. So one night I started to draw, and I drew about three. The papers were small then. The next day I took them to the Co-Op and gave them to Saumik [James Houston] and he gave me $20 for those three drawings. When I got out of the house that he was in I looked at the $20 and I said to myself, ' Saumik - I think you made a mistake. He didn't really look at the money'. To me, $20 was so much and I thought he had made a mistake. Because for my first drawings - I got that money - I realized that I could get money for drawing. Ever since that time I have kept drawing".
Musing that she has to think quite hard when she is drawing Pitseolak observed, "When I draw things that I have seen in the past, I think about them, and, in my head, they look good. But when I put them on paper, they look different from in my head. I am usually happy about them when I finish them because when I put the colours on them they look quite good".
Pitseolak actively supported the growth of the Co-Op since she began drawing back in the early 60's.


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 Dogs Cross River  Dogs Cross River
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