The daughter of Elizabeth Nutaraaluk and wife of Luke Anowtalik, Mary Ayaq (Akjar) began carving in the late 1960s. She conceived of imagery similar to Composition with People and Caribou as early as 1968; the work in the WAG collection (see reference) from 1969 features human figures and heads and a dog in bas-relief. Ayaq's work is chiefly inspired by memories of her former life, growing up and raising her young family as a member of the Ahiarmiut (Caribou Inuit) at Ennadai Lake. It is thus both poignant and poetic that the mother's left arm, which embraces one of her children, extends to meet the tip of the caribou's antlers.
References: For similar works by the artist see Bernadette Driscoll, Eskimo Point/Arviat (WAG: 1982) cat. 1; Marion Scott Gallery, Vision and Form (Vancouver, 2003), pp. 106-107; Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, Arviat: Artists of the Past Present and Future (1997) cats. 7, 37; Walker's Auctions, May 2017, Lot 178.