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Ashoona, Kiugak

Ashoona, Kiugak

Kinngait (Cape Dorset)

(1933–2014)

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Ashoona, Kiugak

(1933–2014)

Born in 1933 in Tariugajak, NU, Kiuguk Ashoona was an accomplished sculptor and printmaker as well as an early participant in the Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, art production movement. Ashoona’s sculptures are recognizable for their fluidity and dramatic imagery, including gestural poses, sharp, pointed beaks and expressive eyes. His figures are highly detailed, dynamic and often carved in lustrous, deep green serpentinite. The relationships between people and non-human beings to one another and the land comprised the major thrust of his artistic output, a theme visible in works such as Natturalik (2000) and Bird Spirit (1960). In recognition of his significant artistic achievements, Ashoona was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2000 and elected as a Member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2003.

Ashoona, Kiugak

Artist biographies provided with permission by the Inuit Art Foundation. All rights reserved.

Growling Lion

1965
stone (serpentinite)
23.9 x 23.5 x 26 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Twomey Collection, with appreciation to the Province of Manitoba and Government of Canada
1098.71

  • Growling Lion

    About

    Growling Lion

    Growling Lion

    Kiugak Ashoona once explained his unusual, non-Arctic animal imagery in this sculpture. He had travelled to Ottawa for an exhibition opening and was impressed by a sculpture of a lion on the Parliament Buildings. He decided to see if he could do as well, and created this work and one other version of the subject. Kiugak is known for his fierce shamanic creatures in stone and this work has the same aggressive stance as his “spirit” pieces.


  • The Jerry Twomey Collection of Inuit Sculpture

    About

    The Jerry Twomey Collection of Inuit Sculpture

    The Jerry Twomey Collection of Inuit Sculpture

    In 1971, the monumental Jerry Twomey Collection of 4,000 Inuit carvings was acquired by the WAG. Twomey was a geneticist and a co-founder of Winnipeg’s T&T Seeds. Beginning in 1952 and throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he collected sculpture from virtually every art-producing Inuit community. He was fascinated by the distribution of artistic talent within families and across generations and collected the work of individual artists in depth.

    In 1969, Twomey decided to retire from the seed business and move to California to breed roses full-time. The disposition of his collection became a matter for intense negotiation with a number of museums and collectors. George Swinton persuaded then Premier Edward Schreyer of the collection’s importance and in August 1971 Schreyer quickly signed an Order-in-Council to raise $185,000, or two-thirds of the funds required to purchase the collection for the WAG. In June 1972, James Richardson, then federal minister of supply and services, presented a cheque for the remaining $75,000 at a ceremony at the Gallery. To celebrate both the opening of the new Gallery building on Memorial Boulevard and the acquisition of the Twomey Collection, a small show was installed in 1972. In 2003, a comprehensive WAG exhibition and catalogue revealed the incomparable record of the development of Inuit art in the 1950s and 1960s provided by the Twomey Collection.


  • Growling Lion

    Additional View

    Growling Lion

    Growling Lion