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.