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AKULUKJUK, Malaya

Born
Qikiqtat Camp, Nunavut, 1915
Died
Pangnirtung, Nunavut, 1995
Biography synopsis
Inuit artist Malaya Akulukjuk (also known as Malaiya/Malia/Kilapik) was born in 1915 (other sources variously state 1912 and 1921) in Qikiqtat Camp (Kirkitant), Nunavut. In her youth, Akulukjuk moved to Pangnirtung. Well respected in the Pangnirtung community, Akulukjuk was given the status of shaman. Through her renditions of anthropomorphic figures, especially her portrayal of bird-women and the Inuit Sea Goddess Sedna, Akulukjuk communicated concepts of Inuit spirituality and shamanism. Akulukjuk's works inspired future generations of artists in Pangnirtung; they used her lively designs as a basis for creating woven tapestries. Akulukjuk's later drawings depict Arctic landscapes. Her works have been showcased in exhibitions across Canada, in Jerusalem, and throughout the United States. Akulukjuk won a Design Award in 1974 for a tapestry created from one of her drawings. In 1979, the Mount Royal Arts Centre in Montreal held a solo exhibition of the artist's works. In 1990, Akulukjuk was commissioned to complete a set of prints for Dow Chemical Canada. To honour her lifetime of artistic achievements, the Pangnirtung Tapestry Studio issued, in 1995, a collection of colorful tapestries that translated Akulukjuk's last drawings into woven works of art.
Media used
Drawing
Printmaking
Sculpture
Textiles
File & Archive locations
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, QC - Media Centre
Canadian Museum of Civilization Archives, QC
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Writings about
Biographies of Inuit Artists, Volumes One and Two. Ottawa: Canadian Arctic Producers, Arctic Co-operatives Limited, 1984.
"Dow Chemical Commissions Four Pangnirtung Prints [Update]." Inuit Art Quarterly 5.2 (Spring 1990): 47.
AboriginArt Galleries. "Malaya Akulukjuk (Malaiya; Malia; Kilapik)." Inuit.net 2010
http://inuitarteskimoart.com/artists/b-inuitarteskimoart-Akulukjuk_Malaya.html.
Auger, Emily Elisabeth. The Way of Inuit Art: Aesthetics and History In and Beyond the Arctic. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2005.
Barz, Sandra B. "Pangnirtung Tapestries Receive Enthusiastic Response." Arts and Culture of the North 4.2 (Spring 1980): 222.
Bennett, John & Rowley, Susan. Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut. Canada: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2004.
Billson, Janet Mancini & Mancini, Kyra. Inuit Women: Their Powerful Spirit in a Century of Change. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2007.
Canada Eskimo Arts Council. Crafts from Arctic Canada/Artisanat de l'Arctique canadien. Toronto: Toronto Dominion Centre: Observation Gallery, 1974.
Collinson, Helen et al. Inuit Games and Contests: The Clifford E. Lee Collection of Prints. Edmonton, Alberta: University of Alberta Press, 1978.
Crandall, Richard C. Inuit Art: A History. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2000.
Cross, L.D. "Nuvisavik: The Place Where We Weave (Review)." Arctic 56.3 (Sept. 2003): 299-300.
Cross, L.D. "Woven, Not Carved: The Pangnirtung Tapestries Are Northern Art with Global Appeal." Arctic 56.3 (Sept. 2003): 310-316.
Goldfarb, Barbara. "Artists, Weavers, Movers and Shakers." Inuit Art Quarterly (Spring 1989): 14-18.
Hessel, Ingo and Dieter. Inuit Art: An Introduction. Michigan: Harry N. Abrams, 1998.
Hickman, Deborah. "Malaya Akulukjuk - A Tribute (Obituary)." Inuit Art Quarterly 11.1 (1996): 53-56.
Hickman, Deborah. "Pangnirtung Weaving Workshop." About Arts and Crafts 3.2 (Autumn 1982): 24-27.
Himel, Susan & Lambert, Elaine. "Weaving Reflects Inuit Life." Globe and Mail (17 Sept. 1981): T7.
Houston, Alma. Inuit Art: An Anthology. Watson & Dwyers Publishers, 1988.
Houston, John. Pangnirtung 1976: Prints/Estampes. Michigan: 1976.
Huret, Pauline. "Les Inuits de l'Arctique canadien." Collection Francophonies, Volumes 13-14. Madison, Wisconsin: CIDEF-AFI, 2003.
Jerusalem Artists' House Museum. Polar Vision: Canadian Eskimo Graphics. Jerusalem: Na'amat, 1978.
Laugrand, Frédéric & Oosten, Jarich. The Sea Woman: Sedna in Inuit Shamanism and Art in the Eastern Arctic. Fairbanks, Alaska: University of Alaska Press, 2009.
Lester, Patrick D. "Akulukjuk, Malaya: Inuit (Eskimo)." The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters. University of Oklahoma Press, 1995.
Marks, Edward B.; United Nations. [Reproduction] A World of Art: The United Nations Collection. Michigan: Il Cigno Galileo Galilei, 1995.
McMaster, Gerald et al. In the Shadow of the Sun: Perspectives on Contemporary Native Art. Hull, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1993.
Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery. Permanence: Recent Additions to the Permanent Collection: 30 April- 31 May, 1992. Halifax: Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, 1992.
National Museum of Man. The Inuit Print/L'estampe inuit. Ottawa: National Museum of Man, 1982.
Pangnirtung Eskimo Co-operative. Pangnirtung Print Collection (Annual). Pangnirtung, Northwest Territories: Pangnirtung Eskimo Co-operative, 1975-1994.
Pangnirtung Eskimo Co-operative. Pangnirtung Print Retrospective, 1973-1986. Baffin Island, Northwest Territories: Pangnirtung Eskimo Co-operative, (1973-1986).
Pangnirtung Weave Shop. Pangnirtung Woven Tapestries/Pangnirtung tapisseries tissées. Baffin Island, Northwest Territories: Pangnirtung Weave Shop, (1984-1991).
Sparling, Mary. Contemporary Art from Pangnirtung. Halifax: Mount Saint Vincent University, 1991.
Thorne, Sarah ed. Dimensions: Partnerships with Pangnirtung. Sarnia, Ontario: Dow Chemical Canada, 1990.
Von Finckenstein, Maria ed. Nuvisavik: The Place Where We Weave. Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Civilzation, 2002.
Watt, Virginia. "Reflecting on Pangnirtung Weaving." Inuit Art Quarterly 7.3 (Summer/Fall 1992): 59-61.
Wells, Craig. Pangnirtung Printmaking: Heritage and Survival. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1993.
Williams, Megan. "Weaving Comes to the North and Thrives." Canada Crafts 5.2 (Jan.-Feb. 1980): 10-11.
Williams, Megan. "Weaving in Pangnirtung/Le tissage à Pangnirtung." About Arts and Crafts/L'art et l'artisanat 3.2 (Autumn 1979): 24-27.

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