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).