This dramatic angst-filled and amusing sculpture relates theatrically to two works offered in separate but unique positions; dancing vs. diving.
Some of the greatest works of Inuit sculpture almost defy analysis. And sometimes the adjectives themselves seem to actually contradict one another. Perhaps the same holds true for this bear, as it cannot decide which way is up nor down. The relentless choice between right vs. wrong that confronts our daily conscience is the leitmotif of this piece.
This sculpture is rather larger than Ottokie's typical carvings of dancing bear. It is also somewhat more complex in form in-that it can balance on both ends. The overall effect is lovely and harmonious. There is a brilliant sense of rhythm too, for the entrapped spirit inside beseeches her escape from the rudimentary confines of stone in order to come to life; This is of course 'the legend of dancing bear'.
Ottokie Samayualie (1980 - )
Ottokie is the son of Cape Dorset artists Johnny and Kuluajuke Tunnillee. Ottokie has followed the same artistic path, as in Nunavut, artistic talent is passed on through the family rather than taught in an art school.
Ottokie Samayualie takes great care in choosing his stone. His carvings are made of the finest serpentine of varying green and black shades, and then smoothed and polished to best exhibit the lustre of the stone.
Ottokie is one of the few artists who knows how to carve two way bears (dancing and diving).