Standing Mother and Child, 1960s stone, 11 1/2 x 7 3/4 x 5 in (29.2 x 19.7 x 12.7 cm)
ESTIMATE: $2,000 — $3,000
PRICE REALIZED: $2,400
Private Collection, Ottawa.
As one of the chief artists as well as supervisor of the first ceramics project in Rankin Inlet (mid 1960s to mid 1970s), Donat Anawak is probably best known as a ceramic artist, but although not prolific he was an accomplished stone sculptor as well. Standing Mother and Child is a classic example of the more “realistic” school of figural sculpture in Rankin Inlet in the 1960s; it stand apart from the more primal examples by artists such as John Tiktak and John Kavik. Anawak’s figures are naturalistically rendered and posed; the child’s face is surprisingly adult in expression.
Examples of Anawak’s sensitively rendered ceramics can be seen in the 1981 Winnipeg Art Gallery Rankin Inlet/Kangirlliniq catalogue (cats. 2, 3), and in the 1992 edition of George Swinton’s Sculpture of the Inuit (fig. 889); also published in Swinton is a portrait of the artist (fig. 41). Swinton also quotes a long and thoughtful commentary by Anawak on the importance of art making and independence to local Inuit (p. 23).