Contemporary Inuit Art comes out of a long line of a tradition of Inuit culture, dating back thousands of years. The new contemporary art form does share a similarity in use of materials and subject matter with a focus on the traditional lifestyle and need for survival under harsh conditions. The animals of the North, the shamans, the creation stories, hunting and spiritual experiences, all are constants in Inuit Art across Canada’s north. Yet, there are many, easily recognizable styles, such as the unique stone carving styles of Dorset, Baker Lake, Gjoa Haven and Nunivak. Each region can be identified by means of subject matter, image treatment, stone characteristics and style subject presentation. Cape Dorset carvings, for instance, are typically done in serpentine, with a polished sophistication, whereas Baker Lake artist work with a heavy basalt stone, representing a more primitive simplicity. Other art communities and individuals can be recognized through their choice of other media such as Ivory, soapstone, whale bone and antler.
In addition there is an active development of Modern Inuit art showing a wide diversity of non-traditional approaches, both in subject matter and media. All these trends make collecting Inuit Art a most enjoyable endeavour with appeals to a large range of artistic tastes.
Pierre Stevens and Mandy Kay Raining Bird have been collecting Inuit Art for many years and are now directing their efforts to helping you in starting your personal collection of this important aspect of Canadian art.