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Inukjuak, Quebec, 1917
Povungnituk (?), Quebec, 1986
Biography synopsis
Inuit Artist Sarah Joe Qinuajua (Quinuajua/Kinuajua/Sara/Talirunili/Qinnauajuaq/Nuts/Quinuajuak/Quiuajuak) was a printmaker and sculptor born in Inukjuak, Northern Quebec. Daughter of noted Inuit sculptor and printmaker Joe Putugu Talirunili (c. 1895-1976), Qinuajua was one of the earliest artists to use print media in Povungnituk. In the 1930's and 1940's, Qinuajua and her family led a nomadic lifestyle, hunting and fishing to provide food for her family. After settling in Povungnituk (also known as Puvirnituq) in 1959, Qinuajua began developing her abilities as a carver and printmaker. She was one of the first Inuit artists to contribute to the annual print collections between 1964 and 1986. Her oeuvre covers a variety of subject matter, such as tattooed faces, animals, domestic scenes and hunting expeditions. The igloo is a recurring image in many of her works. Qinuajua's artworks have been exhibited across Canada, in France, the United States, and in Belgium. They are featured in the collections of the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Dennos Museum Centre in Michigan, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Saputik Museum in Povungnituk.
Media used
File & Archive locations
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC

Writings about 2010
"'We Wouldn't Be Doing What We're Doing if It Weren't for Him': Inuit Recall Being Encouraged to Carve by James Houston." Inuit Art Quarterly 14.3 (Fall 1999): 24-30.
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.
Barz, Sandra B. Canadian Inuit Uncatalogued Prints, Collections and Commissions. New York: Arts and Culture of the North, 1990.
Barz, Sandra B. Inuit Artists Print Workbook. New York: Arts and Culture of the North, 1990.
Choquette, Philippe. Prolégomènes à une histoire de la gravure contemporaine au Nunavik et étude sémiotique d'un cas en art inuit: Sarah Joe Talirunili Qinuajua. Montréal: Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), 1997.
Crandall, Richard C. Inuit Art: A History. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2000.
Eber, Dorothy Harley. "Povungnituk Prints: Time for a Second Look." Arts and Culture of the North 4.2 (Spring 1980): 234-235.
Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec. Povungnituk Print Collection/Collection de gravures de Povungnituk. [Annual] Canada: Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec, (1964-1978, 1980,1982-1986).
Myers, Marybelle Mitchell. Joe Talirunili: 'A Grace Beyond the Reach of Art.' Montreal: Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec, 1977.
Myers, Marybelle Mitchell. Things Made by Inuit. Québec: Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau Québec, 1980.
Saucier, Celine. Le refus de l'oubli: Femmes-sculptures du Nunavik. Quebec: L'Instant meme, 1998.
Waterman, Jonathan. [Photographs of the family] Arctic Crossing: A Journey Through the Northwest Passage and Inuit Culture. New York: Knopf, 2001.
Wight, Darlene Coward. Early Masters: Inuit Sculpture 1949-1955. Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2006.
Wilhelmy, Jean-Robert. "Sarah Joe Qinuajua." Inuit Art Zone 2010

Writings by
Qinuajua, Sarah Joe & Ivilla, Samisa. Transcript of the Interview With Sarah Joe Talirunili (sic) and Samisa Ivilla. Ottawa: Canadian Eskimo Arts Council, 1985.

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