KANANGINAK POOTOOGOOK, R.C.A. (1935-2010) m., KINNGAIT (CAPE DORSET)
Printmaker: LUKTA QIATSUK (1928-2004) m., KINNGAIT (CAPE DORSET)
The Dance (The Fiddle Player), c. 1960-61 (commissioned print, possibly for Imperial Oil)
stonecut, 23.5 x 30 in (59.7 x 76.2 cm)
Estimate: $900 — $1,200
Private Collection, Australia.
This rare unpublished print by Kananginak is a fascinating glimpse into a part of the artist's imagination that is seldom seen. The Dance does resemble one other early print by Kananginak: Seal Skin Boat, an engraving from 1963 (#68), which portrays two bird-people sailing a single-masted skin umiaq. In The Dance, two transformed animal-humans play a fiddle and pipe in accompaniment to a dancing spirit creature.
Interestingly, this charming print brings to mind two other Inuit prints considerably separated by both time and space. The spirit creature resembles those of the Kangiqsualujjuak (George River) artist Tivi Etok's The Torngats that come knocking in the night from 1974, while the imagery itself reminds us of Shaman's Costume of 1984 by Lipa Pitsiulak of Pangnirtung.
References: The Tivi Etok print referenced above can be found in Tivi Etook: whispering in my ears and mingling in my dreams (St.-Laurent: FCNQ, 1975) no. 8, p. 18. The Lipa Pitsiulak print is published in the 1984 Pangnirtung print catalogue (#27).