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Item # P12WH30 Price: C$2,875
Title: Link   Ookpik Spirit Owl Dated: 2002 - Signed
Artist: Ekoomiak, Normee    Edition: Original 
Community:  Kuujjuaraapik      
Size: inches/cm 73" x 60"
185.4 cm x 152.4 cm
Description: The original owner of this extra-large and visually stunning wallhanging acquired it directly from the artist. Carefully stored ever since, this work is in pristine condition with its beautifully bright colours intact.

The imagery depicts the Great Snowy Owl Spirit which was Ekoomiak's favourite icon, watching over and protecting the Inuit and all the animals of the North on which they depend.

Note: Upon his death in 2009 Ekoomiak garnered renewed recognition for his artistry, and a work this large does not often come to market. Do not miss this unique opportunity to purchase a large piece by an important and groundbreaking Inuit artist.

This tapestry is a rare work by one of only four Inuit men to have done wallhangings. Normee Ekoomiak is one of the few Inuit artists to have put out a book: Arctic Memories, published in 1988. It included 17 illustrations of some of his paintings and wallhangings. It also told the story of his difficult life living in the south, and his wistful observation that "My north is not there any more. It is only in my memory".

In the book he wrote: "I know all of the spirits of the land animals and the birds and the fish and the sea animals. I know their names and I can understand them and I can speak to them. I have heard the owl and I have heard the bear and I have heard the Sedna singing.

When I was small, I had a sickness in my ears and it did not go away properly. So now it is hard for me to hear what other people are saying, but I can still hear the spirits.

I grew up at Fort George in my grandfather's tent, which had a wooden frame and was covered in canvas and with seal skins. It was about ten feet by twenty feet. My grandfather taught me about Inuit ways and about how to do my art [painting and stitchwork]. My father and mother and six brothers and seven sisters lived with us. I went to school at the mission there...I live and work in the South now. I am an Inuk of the city." He also wrote about "...snowy owls watching and protecting from overhead...Okpik, the spirit owl, who sees everywhere and who sees everything...Okpik watches over his people and makes sure that their food is safe.

Okpik means snowy owl. He is our friend, and his spirit protects all of nature in the North. Okpik watches over the Inuit, and also is the guardian of the [animals]; all of the nature spirits work together and watch over the North. We must keep them happy and only kill the right animals or else the spirits will not let us find food."

Embroidery stitches: buttonhole, detached chain, blanket and single feather.


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 Ookpik Spirit Owl
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