Telling Stories: Narratives of Nationhood

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Is This Landscape Your Landscape?

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Pudlo Pudlat
Arctic Scene with Hunter in Background
About the Artist and the Work  |   Looking at the Art  |   Artistic and Cultural Heritage
image of artwork
Pudlo Pudlat, Arctic Scene with Hunter in Background, 1977. Acrylic on paper. 55.8 x 66.0 cm. Collection of CCAG.

The Inuit community is one community whose artists have expressed cultural identity strongly. Pudlo Pudlat is among the Inuit artists who have proposed their own images of their experience of the North. Pudlat was born in 1916 at Amadjuak. Until he was six, he lived at Coral Harbour; later, he moved to Lake Harbour where he supported his family by hunting and fishing. In the late 1950s, he moved to Cape Dorset for medical reasons. It was there he started his career as an artist. Carving stone, the primary artistic activity in the community, was difficult for him due to an arm injury. Instead of carving, he began drawing, producing over 3,000 drawings and prints. He died in 1992.


Pudlat's medium depended upon what drawing tools were available in Cape Dorset. Over time, he moved from using lead pencil to coloured pencil and felt pen. His early works were stark, simple, powerful black and white images that showed skilful use of positive and negative space. When he added colour to his drawings, his imagery changed to include linear designs and rhythmic play with dots, dotted lines, zigzag lines, parallel lines, and circles. He began experimenting with spatial relationships in works he created using lithography and acrylic washes. In his later landscapes, image and background are integrated, and perspective becomes linear, often on two or three picture planes.