Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Inuit-Dene Artist

  As some of you know last Febrary I left my job as manager of the Northern Images Art Gallery.
It was a fabulous job, with a wonderful employer, and amazing artist. The Inuit and Dene
peoples of the arctic and sub-arctic regions are the most talented artist I've had the priviledge to work
with. These people were forced to live the "make-do" lifestyle long before it became a popular
fad. They made all their tools, their childrens toys, and later  carvings to sell from stones and
whalebones, caribou bones. Their clothing and footwear was made from the sealskins, polar
bear hides, and caribou hides. Well, I could go on and on, but then this would end up sound-
ing like a history lesson and what I really want to do is showcase some of their amazing art.

This was a very popular artist. I sold many of his pieces to the younger generation. They loved
the vibrant colors he was well known for, as well as the imagery.

These are smoked moose hide kamiks (mukluks) for a child. These were decorated with
needlework, but most have beadwork tops. It looks like beaver fur. Without feeling
the fur, I can't say for sure. Beaver is a very coarse feeling fur.

Aren't these amazing with their diamond design? These are sealskin. Can you imagine
all the work that went into sewing each one of these diamonds in place? They were
made from a young mother from the Arctic region that walked into the gallery to
personally sell these to me. This was a very common means of acquiring goods for
the gallery. The artist would often wait until she/he had several pieces to offer, then
line it up with a Dr.s appointment or shopping trip to the city. Remember they were
flying down from the very far north!

This is not the best picture of this carving-the lighting was bad. The two most popular stones
used for carving are soapstone and terpentine. They come in many different colors. This one
was done by an Inuit artist. This is just a little sample of the art of these talented peoples.
I will show you more in the future. If you are interested in anything you see, I will be glad
to refer you to the Northern Images gallery were there is a vast selection of  Inuit and Dene' art.
I hope you all have a great Monday. I am off to start the "hard" process of de-cluttering.
Say a prayer for me. Seriously, I am horrible about getting rid of anything! I always seem
to think I just might need whatever it is in the future. Nutty, I know!


  1. Kimberly - I love this work! Beautiful! We had a pair of moose hide moccasins for my daughter when she was a baby - I love the way they still smelled like smoke! They were lined with rabbit fur and beaded so beautifully! I'm sorry we passed them on to someone else. They were given to us by a friend in Fairbanks.

    Thanks for the memory, and for the nice comment on my blog!

  2. What wonderful art! The first picture was my favorite - such color :-)

  3. Hi Kimberly, These works of art are fabulous!!! I always love seeing what someone does with their hands, especially first-nations people. Thanks for sharing and stopping by my place.
    Have a wonderful week.

  4. The artwork's are fabulous! I love native, natural arts! I use a lot of hides, feathers and such in my silly purses, but I love the nature arts. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Beautiful work in all of those pieces of art, wearable and otherwise.

  6. What wonderful and beautiful works of art. This is the kind of art that I enjoy!

  7. The gratification those artists have, really shows in the quality of each piece.
    Your empathy really comes through to us.

    Decluttering? You go girl!

  8. Gorgeous art! This reminds me....we built a little house in town one time and lo and behold our neighbor came over to visit...she was a Navajo woman and she had a loom in her living room and made these beautiful Navajo rugs for a gallery in Scottsdale...needless to say I had her make me one...it is one of my favorite things..

  9. Beautiful artwork! As to the decluttering, good luck! I've been trying to declutter here, but the progress is slow going. I can easily get sidetracked! Plus I can find all kinds of reasons to keep what I should get rid of.

  10. This is great..I am pulling my 15 year old son in to see and read...I may not be home schooling him this year, but once a teacher always a teacher...and these are beautiful...thanks for sharing.

  11. I love those boots!! Sadly they're to warm to wear in the south...we only have a few days of very cold weather, then things warm up....but I love your boots anyway....keep showing their art, maybe there will be something that would go well in my cabin....Mel's Designs from the Cabin......Mel

  12. What interesting art. Isn't it amazing what you can do with what you have? Using all natural elements is especially beautiful. Good luck decluttering--I find that to be such a difficult job!

  13. Very pretty and I love so to see that kind of art. I bet you do miss it. I will look forward to seeing more pictures.
    Your blog just updated on my page. I can't believe how many of your posts I have missed. :(

  14. I didn't know your history, but you certainly had an interesting job working there. What a nice treat to be surrounded by such beautiful handmade art and with such a rich history!
    I keep working on de-cluttering and then I find something else to bring home! It never ends, but then what fun would it be if it did!

  15. The Inuit and Dene' art is very beautiful..museum quality in its perfection. The firts artist's work reminded me of Autralian Aboriginal art work that I saw on my trip there this past winter.

    I have lived in my house 30+ years, Kimberly, so you can imagine what i ahave tucked away in every nook and cranny ... clutter! lol! I have begun getting rid of it a little at a time as I hope to move in 2-3 years.


All of your comments are read and much appreciated.
You are dear and lovely friends!