10" "Covid Collection" Apple Green Bird Chick with Orange Pekoe eyes by Toonoo Sharky
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Inuit art: Bird Chick
Inuit Artist: Toonoo Sharky
Size: 10" across, 5" tall, 3" deep
Community: Cape Dorset, NU (Carved in Iqaluit, NU) Spring 2020
Stone: Serpentine, caribou antler (for the eyes)
Note** This carving from the Covid Collection will come with a Provenance describing the unique circumstances surrounding these sculptures.
We recently welcomed five charming sculptures to the Gallery, carved by international superstar Toonoo Sharkey.
This “Band of Brothers” are a deviation from Toonoo’s typical style.
Toonoo seldom carves medium sized sculptures. On average, these creatures are a hearty 9” size.
Toonoo’s work is typically reserved and sophisticated but these “bandits” are mischievous and full of bravado.
Bird chick is a leader in the making. He has wide shoulders and crouches in commando fashion, one foot ahead of the other, waiting for his chance to take command.
Toonoo has given him panache and a bit of arrogance.
He is unabashedly unapologetic... and completely loveable.
I was so excited to receive this collection from Toonoo.
But, in stark contrast to the delight we feel from Toonoo’s art, is the sombre world spirit as we all battle Covid 19.
Because of the world pandemic, the government agencies which traditionally purchase and distribute Inuit art are closed.
Inuitsculptures.com has a long history of dealing directly with the Inuit artists which is why I received this special collection from Toonoo Sharkey.
All Inuit artists (carvings and print) have effectively been shuttered from the world to limit the spread of the virus to their communities. Now, they are very limited in their ability to showcase their work and deliver it to the South.
During this financially uncertain time, one of my goals is to support the artists by not cutting back on purchasing their art.
But I also want to spotlight these carvings, so my clients can identify them as having been carved during the pandemic.
We are placing these pieces in the Covid Collection.
If you are reading this piece, you are likely a collector of Inuit art; someone who derives much pleasure from supporting our Canadian artists and someone who loves this uniquely Canadian art.
When you choose one of these carvings from the Covid Collection, you know that you are directly supporting the artist during this turbulent time.
Those that appreciate art, understand the importance of a provenance.
It is highly unusual to have a written provenance for Inuit art.
All the carvings in the Covid Collection, will come with a written provenance describing this unique situation.....that these pieces of art were carved during a world event of epic proportions. I would venture to say that never has there been such an unusual and historical provenance as it applies to Inuit art.
Its difficult to know how many pieces will be in the Covid Collection. The collection will continue until all pieces are sold and the pandemic is over.
Toonoo Sharky (1970 - )
"Toonoo's parents, Josephee Sharky and Ragee Killiktee, were both carvers, though he credits his grandfather, master carver Kuppapik Ragee and his uncle Shorty Killiktee as influences. Toonoo started carving at ten, began to get serious at thirteen and first exhibited when he was just 17. He is regarded as one of the most exciting young carvers to emerge in the Arctic. His themes include fanciful and quite dramatic treatment of wildlife, particularly birds, and transformational works that are both powerful and humorous. His work is widely shown, and he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 2003." *
* from "Cape Dorset Sculpture", Douglas & McIntyre, 2005