Born in the early sixties, Leo Napayok spent most of his time growing up in the towns of Salliq (Coral Harbour) and Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet). A devoted father, he and his wife have seven children. Napayok’s artistic upbringing began early on in his life. His father and mother were both artists, and they gave him some of the foundational skills he has drawn on in his remarkable works as a carver in soapstone, ivory, and antler. He has long been established as one of the most talented carvers ever to come out of the region. Napayok came to ceramics recently and took to it immediately, applying his own brand of creative discovery to the medium. He has superb drawing skills, which provide him with the tools necessary to visualize and bring his outstanding works into reality. Working in collaboration with the other ceramicists who prepare the vessel or sculptural shape, his extraordinary carvings cover and completely explore the surface of whatever shape he is working with. In stunning detail he depicts images of traditional events, which intermix with each other and blend like a tapestry, or a dreams in which events melt into each other. Working in collaboration with John Kurok and Jack Nuviyak, his works have since become a part of the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.
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