He­len Kal­vak cm, rca

1901–1984 Ulukhak­tok, NT

Inuit Art Quarterly - - COLLECTING GUIDE - Ju­lia Manoyok Ek­pako­hak

I started mak­ing art when I was very young, maybe two years old. I learned from my grand­mother He­len Kal­vak. She made draw­ings, prints and wall hang­ings from seal­skin. She used to tell me sto­ries and then ask me to draw them. I would put them down on paper: a scene of a hunt, or trav­ellers or an­i­mals and birds on the land or in the ocean. We would make draw­ings to­gether. My mother, Elsie Nil­gak, and my grand­mother told me that mak­ing art­work was go­ing to help me pro­vide for my fam­ily. That is very true for me to­day. I make carv­ings, crafts and prints, mainly sten­cils and etch­ings. Ev­ery­thing that I have done with my art­work is mainly what my grand­mother and mother taught me. To this day, I still use the same pat­terns and tech­niques that I learned from them. I use ma­te­ri­als I find out on the land to dye my own tex­tiles be­cause it is very costly to im­port dyes and other fin­ished ma­te­ri­als. Be­ing raised in and liv­ing in Ulukhak­tok my en­tire life, I try to use the tra­di­tional knowl­edge that I was taught. –


He­len Kal­vak Dance 1975 Stone­cut 45.7 × 61 cm

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