Annie Pootoogook (1969 -   )

Annie Pootoogook   Narwhal Gallery: Annie Pootoogook - Homecoming

Detail from Homecoming, 2006
Etching and aquatint, Approx. 32 x 37 inches (HxW), Cape Dorset

Annie Pootoogook comes from a long line of artists. In particular, her grandmother Pitseolak Ashoona, and her mother Napachie Pootoogook were both prolific and masterful graphic artists. Despite enormous stylistic differences, there are similarities in the drawings of all three artists.

All three women drew on personal experience to guide their artworks. Consequently, these images provide an intimate view into the artists' own lives and broader life in Cape Dorset. By depicting everyday scenes, relatives, and common beliefs, their work exudes a sense of recording history, a feeling of archiving experience.

Whilst Pitseolak concentrated on subject matter that showed the more joyous side of traditional life, characteristic of graphics by artists of the older generation, her daughter Napachie, in later life, chose to draw and speak about all aspects of traditional life, including spiritual beliefs and darker social issues. It is this tradition that is carried on in turn by Napachie's own daughter Annie.

Annie has developed her own unique style. Her artistic approach is fascinating; she captivates the viewer with an intense attention to detail, and sprinkles contemporary references, often mundane, throughout her compositions. She treats all subject matter, joyous and tragic, with the same attention to detail. Annie's most recent works demonstrate a new focus. She still nurtures the 'picture perfect' character of her images, but now she aims for a greater balance between architecture and figures. Who would have thought that one day Inuit graphics would depict images such as the war in Iraq as seen on television?