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ESHULUTAK, Eleesapee

Born
Baffin Island, Nunavut, 1925
Biography synopsis
Inuit artist Eleesapee Eshulutak (Eleeseepee/ Elisapee/ Eshulutaq/ Ishulutaq/ Ishulutak) was born at Kanirterjuak on Baffin Island. Eshulutak began to develop her artistic skills when she moved to the settlement of Pangnirtung at the age of 45. She was encouraged to draw and produce prints for the Pangnirtung Print Shop annual collections between 1975 and 1987. In 1973, Eshulutak received an award of merit from the California College of Arts and Crafts for a print. The artist's prints, many of which were transferred into beautifully woven tapestries, are inspired by stories she heard as a child. Many of the works depict human figures and animals engaged in traditional Inuit culture, such as hunting, games and the domestic environment. Eshulutak's use of intuitive perspective and colorful designs give her work a unique aesthetic sensibility. In 1989, the Eskimo Art Gallery in Montreal held a solo exhibition of Eshulutak's works. More recently, Eshulutak has begun to work in oil, painting large-scale colorful canvases that explore the culture and lifestyle of Pangnirtung. Since the introduction of the oil medium to Pangnirtung, Eshulutak has created monumental contemporary works, such as "Nunagah (My Home Place)", a 5 by 30 foot oil on paper drawing that reflects on memories of childhood. These latest works have been exhibited in "Drawn 2010", a Vancouver-based annual festival that explores drawing practices across Canada. Through the course of her lifetime, Eshulutak's oeuvre has been shown in museums and galleries across Canada, the United States, and in Rome, Italy. Eshulutak's prints, drawings and tapestries can be found in several Museum collections, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her son, Jaco Eshulutak (1951-) is also an established artist in Pangnirtung.
Media used
Drawing
Sculpture
Textiles
File & Archive locations
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library
Canadian Museum of Civilization Archives, QC
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
Library and Archives Canada / Bibliothèque et Archives Canada, ON
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Writings about
"Elisapee Ishulutaq." Up Here 2.6 (Oct./Nov. 1986): 29.
"Monumental Inuit Drawings On a Scale Never Seen Before." Marion Scott Gallery Vancouver: (15 Jul. 2010).
"Oil on Paper: New Works from the Studios of Pangnirtung, Nunavut." Marion Scott Gallery (17 Jul.-28 Aug. 2010)
http://www.marionscottgallery.com/EXHIBITIONS/CONTEMPORARY/201007-OILP/intro.asp.
Arts and Culture of the North (Organization). Arts and Culture of the North, Volumes 17-26. Madison, Wisconsin: Arts and Culture of the North, 1984.
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.
Braasch, Gary. Earth Under Fire: How Global Warming Is Changing the World. University of California Press, (2009): 70-72.
Canada Eskimo Arts Council. Crafts from Arctic Canada/Artisanat de l'Arctique canadien. Toronto: Toronto Dominion Centre: Observation Gallery, 1974.
Canadian Arctic Producers Co-operative Ltd.. Pangnirtung, Recent Sculpture. Ottawa: Canadian Arctic Producers Co-operative Ltd., 1981.
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, Dyan. "Woven Art." Imperial Oil Review 3 (2004).
Cross, L.D. "Woven, Not Carved: The Pangnirtung Tapestries Are Northern Art with Global Appeal." Arctic 56.3 (Sept. 2003): 310-316.
Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Chisel and Brush/Le ciseau et la brosse. Ottawa: Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 1987.
Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. Contemporary Indian and Inuit Art of Canada. New York: Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 1983.
Eber, Dorothy Harley. When the Whalers Were Up North: Inuit Memories from the Eastern Arctic. McGill Queen's University Press, 1989.
Eber, Dorothy Harley. "Talking With the Artists." In the Shadow of the Sun: Perspectives on Contemporary Native Art. Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1987.
Eskimo Art Gallery. Elisapee Ishulutak: A Comprehensive Exhibit Including Sculpture, Prints, Drawings & Tapestries. Montreal: Eskimo Art Gallery, 1989.
Eskimo Art Gallery. The Maternal Instinct. Montreal: Eskimo Art Gallery, 1988.
Finckenstein, Maria Von. "Elisapee Ishulutaq: A Quirky Use of Multiple Perspectives." Inuit Art Quarterly 16.1 (Spring 2001): 30-31.
Fisher, Kyra V. "Uqqurmiut: New Work by Four Pangnirtung Artists." Inuit Art Quarterly 25.1/2 (Spring/Summer 2010).
Goldfarb, Barbara. "Artists, Weavers, Movers and Shakers." Inuit Art Quarterly (Spring 1989): 14-18.
Gombu, Phinjo. "Sculptor's Art Preserves a Disappearing Culture." Toronto Star (2 Nov. 1989): N5.
Heller, Jules and Nancy. North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century. New York: Garland, 1995.
Hickman, Deborah. "Pangnirtung Weaving Workshop." About Arts and Crafts 3.2 (Autumn 1982): 24-27.
Hoffmann, Gerhard ed. Im Schatten der Sonne: Zeitgenoessische Kunst der Indianer und Eskimos in Kanada. Stuttgart, Germany: Edition Cantz, (1988): 588-591.
Inuit Art Foundation. "The Artist: Ishulutaq, Elisapee." Inuit Art Alive 2010
http://www.inuitartalive.ca/index_e.php?p=186.
Jerusalem Artists' House Museum. Polar Vision: Canadian Eskimo Graphics. Jerusalem: Na'amat, 1978.
Kozinska, Dorota. "The Art of Cultural Revival: Montreal Printmakers Teach Their Skills to Aboriginal People of the North." Gazette (30 Mar. 1997): D5.
Lacasse, Patrick. "Dance in Inuit Art." Inuit Art Quarterly 15.4 (Winter 2000): 46-47.
Lanteigne, Christina. "Oil and Paper at Marion Scott Gallery." The Gastown Blog: Vancouver Starts Here (8 Jul. 2010)
http://www.gastownblog.com/oil-and-paper-at-marion-scott-gallery/.
Lester, Patrick D. "Ishulutaq, Elisapee: Inuit." The Biographical Directory of Native American Painters. University of Oklahoma Press, 1995.
Munro, Mary. "Pangnirtung Women Carvers." North/Nord 22.5 (Sept.-Oct. 1975): 46-49.
Murray, Connie Higginson. "Cultural Changes Woven in Time: Respected Inuk Artist Eleesapee Ishulutaq Proudly Shows Off Her Stunning Drawings, Part of a Collection of Tapestries on Display in Gatneau, to Connie Higginson Murray Ottawa Citizen (22 Feb. 2002): D1.
National Gallery of Modern Art. Eskimo Games: Graphics and Sculpture. Rome, Italy: 1981.
National Museum of Man. The Inuit Print/L'estampe inuit. Ottawa: National Museum of Man, 1982.
Pangnirtung Eskimo Co-operative. Pangnirtung 1976 Prints/ Estampes. Pangnirtung, Northwest Territories: Pangnirtung Eskimo Co-operative, 1976.
Pangnirtung Eskimo Co-operative. Pangnirtung Prints. [Annual] Pangnirtung, Northwest Territories: Pangnirtung Eskimo Co-operative, (1973-1986).
Rothmans of Pall Mall Ltd.. Inuit Art: A Selection of Inuit Art from the Collection of the National Museum of Man, Ottawa and the Rothmans Permanent Collection of Inuit Sculpture, Canada. Rothmans of Pall Mall Ltd., 1981.
Sabbath, Lawrence. "Exhibition Season Busiest in City's History: Summer's Almost Over But There's Plenty of Action in the Months to Come." Gazette (21 Sept. 1985): D14.
Shulman, Neville. Some Like It Cold: Arctic and Antarctic Expeditions. Guilford, Connecticut: The Lyons Press, 2003.
Sparling, Mary. Contemporary Art from Pangnirtung. Halifax: Mount Saint Vincent University, 1991.
Swinton, George. Sculpture of the Inuit. Toronto: McLelland & Stewart, 1999.
Van Raalte, Sharon. "Inuit Women and Their Art." Communiqué (Apr. 1975): 21-23.
Von Finckenstein, Maria ed. Nuvisavik: The Place Where We Weave. Ottawa: Canadian Museum of Civilzation, 2002.
Watt, Virginia ed. The Permanent Collection Inuit Arts and Crafts c. 1900-1980. Montreal: Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec, 1980.
Wells, Craig. Pangnirtung Printmaking: Heritage and Survival. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1993.
Williams, Megan. "Weaving in Pangnirtung/Le tissage à Pangnirtung." About Arts and Crafts/L'art et l'artisanat 3.2 (Autumn 1979): 24-27.
Winnipeg Art Gallery. Looking South. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1978.

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