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Qinuajua, Eli Sallualu

Qinuajua, Eli Sallualu

Puvirnituq

(1937–2004)

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Qinuajua, Eli Sallualu

(1937–2004)

Eli Sallualuk Qinuajua was a sculptor of fantastical and surreal works. Qinuajua’s carvings alternate between highly polished surfaces and more roughly etched stone, providing each work with a sense of energy and movement compounded by the artist’s use of tangled limbs and tentacle-like shapes. After winning first prize in a local sculpture contest in 1967, Qinuajua gained a wide following that effectively marked the beginning of his commercial art career. Since then, his work has been exhibited internationally in countries including Japan and Germany and is held in many private and public collections including the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, and the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, BC.

Qinuajua, Eli Sallualu

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

Spirit

c. 1968
stone
27.3 x 28.3 x 11.1 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Twomey Collection, with appreciation to the Province of Manitoba and Government of Canada
1967.71

  • Eli Sallualu Qinuajua, Spirit

    About

    Eli Sallualu Qinuajua, Spirit

    Eli Sallualu Qinuajua, Spirit

    Qinuajua won first prize in a carving contest organized in Puvirnituq in 1967. The object of that competition was to depict takushurngnaituk, or ‘things that have never been seen before.’ The contest inspired an entire ‘school’ of surrealist art, with Qinuajua as its main practitioner. Its influence spread to artists in other Nunavik (Arctic Quebec) communities and continued into the 1980s.


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  • 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.


  • Eli Sallualu Qinuajua, Spirit

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    Eli Sallualu Qinuajua, Spirit

    Eli Sallualu Qinuajua, Spirit