Kenojuak Askevak, a once-nomadic artist from Canada's Arctic region whose prints and drawings help introduce Inuit art to much of the world, died on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at her home in Cape Dorset on West Baffin Island in Nunavut. She was 85.
Much loved and well respected, Kenojuak continues to add to her long list of accomplishments as she explores some of her favorite themes as part of Inunoo’s first artistic collection of printed silk scarves and ties. Her captivating drawings have been incorporated in the scarf pattern “Enchanted Bird”and tie pattern “Strutting Birds”. A woman of many talents and honours in her lifetime, Kenojuak continues to excite us with her art.
“In addition to graphics, Kenojuak has worked as a sculptor over the years. "When I'm doing graphic work, sometimes I have to hold the paper and look at it and feel it, and then the work starts to come out," she explains. "It's easier to do the carvings because you can see the shape three dimensionally before it's formed. ... But I prefer to work on drawings; the stone can be hard, and you have to be outside carving."
Kenojuak is the recipient of two honorary doctorates and is the subject of several books and a film. She is a Companion of the Order of Canada, recipient of a Lifetime Aboriginal Achievement Award, and has a star on the Canadian Walk of Fame. In 2004 Kenojuak became the first Inuit artist ever to create imagery for a stained glass window, in a commission for the Chapel of Appleby College in Oakville, coordinated by Feheley Fine Arts. In 2008 she received the renowned $25,000 Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts from the Canada Council of the Arts.