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Nunavik Art Alive - Artist Profiles - Eli Elijassiapik

Eli Elijassiapik (b. 1936)

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When I first started carving, I didn’t see it as an artform . . . Today I see it as a way of expressing myself. Some of my carvings depict a past way of life. I also see carving as a way to preserve our culture, and I believe carving serves to express our past. . . . Inuit have a lot of work to do. We can’t live on carvings alone, so I believe all Inuit have work to do in order to prepare for a different future.”

(Eli Elijassiapik in an unpublished interview with the Inuit Art Foundation, 1997)

ROOTS

Born in 1936, in a small camp on the Nauligaqvik River.

MEDIUM

Sculpture.

STYLE

Elijassiapik’s carvings from the late 1960s are moderate in size, round, and usually depict fish or birds. He also accentuated his larger figurative sculptures’ elliptical-shaped eyes with ivory or bone inlay.

SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENTS

Elijassiapik was President of the Inukjuak Community Council for many years, and served on the board of directors of La Fédération Coopératives du Nouveau-Québec.

REFERENCES

Sinclair, James

2006 “Metamorphosis: Eleven Artists from Nunavik,” Inuit Art Quarterly (IAQ), vol. 21, no. 3 (Fall): 33.