Exhibition - Jaco Ishulutak

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There are times when I fall in love with Inuit carvings all over again.  There are some artists, like Jaco Ishulutak who allow me to see his carvings with fresh eyes and renewed senses, as if I am seeing Inuit sculptures for the first time!

In this exhibition, I am going to show you carvings that do not adhere to any predefined style.  They are hard to define. But what is easy to see, is Jaco’s passion for his craft.  At his advanced age and with his prestigious career, Jaco could relax his ambition and produce only “good” pieces.  Who could blame him?

jaco ishulutak

Instead, he takes a piece of baleen whale bone and crafts one of the most majestic  walruses I have ever seen.  The strength of this walrus flows like lava through the bone. He animates Walrus by posing him in an an impossibly arched position with tusks glinting in the Arctic sun.  A dangerous predator! THIS is passion.

When I saw the Narwhal family cavorting on the ice flow, I knew I was in the presence of a genius. Jaco has taken an unusual Arctic creature, added double tusks, grouped them together as a family (so the viewer’s senses are dominated by three narwhals instead of one) and then he places them in an exotic setting! THIS is creativity.

Recently, Jaco has presented his admirers with large figures of Shamans whose energy is as vast as their oversized bodies! For ones so large, these Shamans exude energy and power. Sitting Shaman is pounding on a drum with his arms high in the air but in a semi reclining position! My arms and stomach muscles ache just looking at the physical strength required to maintain this pose.  

These Jaco figures are ambitious in their detail and in the stories they tell.