Standing Mother with Child in Her Amaut, early 1960s
stone, 8 x 4 x 2.5 in (20.3 x 10.2 x 6.3 cm)
inscribed with artist's disc number, "E5 814";
signed indistinctly in Roman, "[O?]TOO[V?]/A"
Estimate: $1,800— $2,800
Galerie Elca London, Montreal;
Acquired from the above by a Private Collection, Toronto.
Virtually nothing is known about this artist, which is not unusual in the case of older, traditional carvers from Pond Inlet and other northern Baffin communities. It's a shame that there was never a concerted effort to document these artists, because some of our favourite works come from this area of the Arctic. We love the "old time" feel of many of these stone carvings; they are unassuming but heartfelt and often truly lovely. Carved mostly in the 1960s and early 1970s, they have the sensibility, if not necessarily the look, of 1950s works from other communities. Ootoova's depiction of a mother and child is especially appealing.
References: For other examples of contemporaneous figurative sculpture from this area see Walker's Auctions, May 2012, Lots 275-279; Nov. 2012, Lot 125; and May 2016, Lot 270.