Arviat artists generally work with the natural shape of pieces of hard steatite stone available locally. They keep detail to a minimum and rarely pierce the stone to create negative space. The abstracted creations of John Pangnark have typified this aesthetic since his early recognition in 1970. In that year he was invited to demonstrate stone carving at Expo ’70 in Osaka, Japan, and his work was featured with that of graphic artist Jessie Oonark in a touring exhibition organized by the National Museum of Man in Ottawa.
Pangnark’s carvings usually interpret single human figures. He began carving in the mid-1960s and this early Seated Figure still has clear anatomical references and polished surfaces, as well as the more abstract formal qualities of his later pieces.