Ruth Qaulluaryuk Nuilaalik
b. 1932 Qamani’tuaq, NU
I learned to make wall hangings around 1968 or ’69. There was an old training centre, and I started seeing wall hangings for the first time. My mother-in-law, Ruth Qaulluaryuk Nuilaalik, taught me how to make them. Ruth still sews; she mostly makes wall hangings with patterns of flowers, leaves and animals. All-over patterns are her specialty, and she likes to sew flowers the most. A long time ago, she wanted to embroider flowers, but she didn’t know how. Once I taught her how, she started using the flowers all the time. Our wall hangings are very different from the other artists in Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake). Sometimes I will make a polar bear, or a bird, or ulus and tools or Inuit games, but usually I make works with all over patterns like Ruth. She’s getting old, so she’s a bit slower than she used to be. I help her once in awhile when she is having a hard time drawing a pattern or cutting felt. She also tends to use brighter coloured threads now because she has a hard time seeing dark colours. So sometimes I help her pick the colours she wants as well.
Ruth Qaulluaryuk Nuilaalik Summer on the Tundra c. 2010 Melton cloth and thread 95.3 × 72.4 cm