Walrus Hunt, 1963 #42 engraving sheet: 12.25 x 15.25 in (31.1 x 38.7 cm) plate: 8.75 x 11.75 in (22.2 x 29.8 cm)
Ingo Hessel, in his entry on Parr in The Canadian Encyclopedia, which illustrated this image, writes, “In the now famous Walrus Hunt(1963), three hunters rendered in blurry silhouette, one holding what looks like a rudimentary telescope, are moving in the same direction, hands outstretched" .
While the human figures are rather static in their forward motions, arguably they are more anatomically correct than many of those seen in Parr’s contemporaneous drawings. Speaking of “static,” we really love Parr’s textured hatch marks in these engravings, which make the figures seem positively electrifying! While the print is titled Walrus Hunt, it should be noted that the upper animal is a seal.
Cape Dorset engravings were very much experimental in the years 1962-63, and because of the technical difficulties inherent in the inking and printing in a press, the results were sometimes a bit hit and miss. In this particular print, however, the etched lines are crisp, and the resulting image is particularly spontaneous and fresh.
1. Ingo Hessel, "Parr" in James A. Marsh, editor-in-chief, The Canadian Encyclopedia, (Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1985), vol. 2, p. 1366.