Loon by Ningeosiaq Ashoona


Artist:                   Ningeosiaq Ashoona

Community:        Kinngait — Cape Dorset

Year:                     2018

Media:                  Stone, Serpentine


Elegant carving of a Loon by Ningeosiaq Ashoona from Kinngait – Cape Breton.

Ning Ashoona is a Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU based artist who was raised on the land in Saturituk, on the southern coast of Baffin Island. She fondly recalls fishing as a child, and that carving and drawing were a practice in daily life, work made for the co-op to support supplies for life on the land. Her grandparents being established carvers, the young Ashoona learned from them, using hand tools, carving with great detail . Ashoona’s favourite subject was the loon, observing them on the water and on land. It was upon her move to Kinngait where she began to be more deeply influenced by the female carvers around her, including her grandmother.

Carving for most of her life, Ashoona is one of only a few full-time female carvers, yet is very prolific and has a distinctive style. Using both hand and power tools Ashoona bridges tradition and innovation in her approach and technique. Inspired by Arctic wildlife and her childhood on the land, much of Ashoona’s work depicts animals at play. The animals dance and glide, giving an impression of movement, and their glossy coats hint at their kinship with water. The smooth soapstone Ashoona uses, in a variety of colours from ink black to green and gray, are polished to a high lustre and give the appearance of the animals and birds just having emerged from the water.
Ashoona’s work has been exhibiting in Canada and abroad at institutions such as the Albers Gallery of Inuit Art, San Francisco, U.S., Feheley Fine Arts, Toronto, ON and the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver. She has appeared in the Inuit Art Quarterly.
This exquisite Loon by Ningeosiaq Ashoona is a prime example of her ability to portray the elegance of wildlife.


Additional information

Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 7 × 2.25 × 6.5 in

Biography Ningeosiaq Ashoona

Date of Birth: December 20, 1979
Place of Birth: Cape Dorset
Mother: Mayoreak Ashoona
Father: Kaka Ashoona

“Ningeosiak, the youngest daughter in the family, says that she learned to carve from her father, who taught her, and by watching her mother Mayoreak. She started carving when she was 13 and 14 years of age.
“Ningeosiak is one of the most prolific young female carvers in Cape Dorset today. There are actually very few women who carve now, other than Ovilu Tunnillie and Mary Oshutsiaq. While she has tried drawing, it does not hold as much appeal for her as for her sister Siassie Kenneally or her cousins, Annie Pootoogook and Shuvinai Ashoona. In fact, she finds drawing harder than carving.”

July 1 – September 2006
Out of the Ordinary Cape Dorset Sculpture Gallery Indigena Stratford, Ontario

Rhythms in Motion Galerie d’art Vincent
Ottawa, Ontario
(illustrated catalogue)

December 2006 – January 2007
Small Sculpture by Great Artists Feheley Fine Arts
Toronto, Ontario

January – February, 2009
Small Treasures
Inuit Gallery of Vancouver Vancouver, British Columbia

March – April, 2009
Arctic Wildlife
Inuit Gallery of Vancouver Vancouver, British Columbia

December, 2009
Small Sculptures by Great Artists Feheley Fine Arts
Toronto, Ontario
(illustrated brochure)

October, 2010
Arctic Wind III: An Expression of Survival Coastal Peoples Gallery
Vancouver, British Columbia
(illustrated brochure)

June 2007
Ningeosiak Ashoona Transformations Gallery Philip Toronto, ON
(illustrated catalogue)

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