Pitseolak Ashoona was a highly acclaimed artist based in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. In the late 1950s Ashoona’s art career started with her sewing and embroidering in an arts and crafts program initiated by the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources. Ashoona utilized her years of expertise with textiles to design and make clothing that was sold at the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative. After about two years she began creating and submitting her drawings to the Co-op. As a self-taught artist Ashoona always worked freehand, drawing the outline first then colouring within the image with rapid line movements. This technique of showing prominent lines is a distinct style within her work. Ashoona used materials that were available to her in Kinngait such as graphite, pencil crayons and felt-tip pens while also working with copper engravings and stone lithography. By the 1970s Ashoona gained international recognition accomplishing numerous remarkable achievements. In 1974 she was elected a member of the Royal Academy of Art and in 1977 she received the Order of Canada. Her work is vital to recording cultural knowledge of Inuit women showing their strength and resilience. Ashoona's autobiographical works have made her work significant in dismantling stereotypes of Inuit art. Her legacy as an artist has been passed down to her family members and community members, who have been influenced by her distinct style. Bio courtesy of Inuit Art Quarterly
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