Inuit art: Loon
Inuit Artist: Manasie Akpaliapik
Size: 10" long, 4" deep, 4" wide
Community: Arctic Bay, NU
In the spirit of avian migration, Master Carver Manasie Akpaliapik presents to us, his interpretation of the iconic Canadian loon.
This is a rare moment for Manasie. Known internationally for his large majestic owls, I have never seen loons in his impressive portfolio.
Manasie Akpaliak is an international superstar. He is in the top three master carvers in Canada, sharing this honour with Paul Maliki and Abraham Reuben.
His carvings adorn the National Art Gallery in Ottawa, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto and numerous international galleries. A quick Google search will confirm the talent and international acclaim of this Canadian Inuit artist.
“Loon” is the perfect subject for Manasie.
This bird showcases Manasie’s talent for creating the perfect “inset” eye.
There is no Inuit artist who has mastered this gruelling technique quite like Manasie.
He graces these loons with the most startling eyes, coloured with a brilliant soft yellow and hints of aquamarine blue. The medium he uses is the “mother of pearl” portion of seashells unique to Arctic Bay.
Choreographing his innate talent and skill with the magic of the seashell medium, this Master Carver bestows awareness, depth and ultimately life to this regal bird’s eyes!
For the body of “Loon”, Manasie has chosen a grey black wonder-stone which gleams with a matte velvet sheen. He painstakingly etches the stone, each feather lovingly caressed , each feather gently positioned with fussy care.
The overall effect?
“Loon” appears to be gently floating on the glass surface of a still Northern lake, his feet silently paddling underneath the water.
In the distance, the haunting and lonely call of the loon to his absent mate, echoes over and over until it finally fades away. Then.... stillness.
Such is the artistry of Manasie Akpaliapik!