I've fallen in love with the work of Alice Nanogak through seeing pieces in a couple of exhibitions of Inuit prints (that blew me away) over the past few years, and then through her fantastic illustrations for the book of Inuit folk tales,"Tales of the Igloo," a copy of which I found--and sold--recently. So when I spotted this and one other of her prints at an antiques shop, I snatched them up immediately.
This is a limited edition stone-cut (from an edition of 24 I believe) hand-printed at the Holman Eskimo Co-operative in Holman, NWT, c. 1970s I think. I love the bright eyes and clasped hands of the four figures facing us, and the fantastic halo-like lines around their faces representing the fur lining of their hoods. I assume this is an ice fishing scene, with the little circles representing holes in the ice--portals to the underwater world--but rather love that the figures seem more interested in the seals swimming around them!
The print was executed in dark green ink on rice paper. Image size is 8 7/8" x 5 7/8". Framed: 15 1/2" x 12 1/2". I removed the print from the frame I found it in, had it archivally matted, and then placed in a new, simple black frame, wired on the back for hanging. I left it attached to backing board on which it was originally mounted as it could not easily be removed. The tape used to mount it on that board is slightly visible in the upper corners of the print, and there is just a tiny bit of wrinkling to the paper along the bottom edge at the center.
Alice Nanogak (Goose) (1925- 2001) was born in the Baillie Islands, Northwest Territories and settled in Holman with her family when she was 14 years old. Her mother was a Mackenzie Delta Inuit and her father from Alaska, who travelled to the Canadian Arctic with Icelandic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879-1962). Nanogak was one of the first artists to provide drawings for The Holman Eskimo Co-operative-- founded by a group of artists and Father Henri Tardy, an Oblate missionary, in 1961-which released their first set of prints in 1965, and to which she continued to contribute work for prints for several decades. Her work includes original illustrations for two books of Inuit legends, "Tales from the Igloo" in 1972 and "More Tales from the Igloo" (1986), which she also narrated. In 1985 she received an honorary degree from Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and was honored with a retrospective at Winnipeg Art Gallery in 2002.