Inuit art: Caribou
Inuit Artist: Peter Aningmiuq
Size: 6.5" long, 4.5" tall (5" antlers), 2" deep
Community: Kimmirut, NU
Carving stone is fraught with difficulty.
At any point during the process, the sculpture could break.
But carving caribou is particularly precarious.
Each carving has four legs which taper at the ankle and end in a hoof!
These spindly legs must carry the weight of the caribou's body and stand firmly balanced so the piece does not topple over.
The legs are at serious risk of snapping as they are carved, sanded and finally delivered to the Coop or customer.
Any artist who takes on the task of carving a caribou has all my respect.
Large, medium or small, I am always in awe that the artist was able to complete such a creature with all its challenges.
Even the antlers are a struggle. They must be meticulously carved and THEN mounted on the head.
I am particularly enamoured with this caribou's antlers.
They fit snuggly into the crook of his back and at first glance, they look like an elaborate piece of coral, crowning our princely carving.
The stone is stunning. Thin multicoloured veins vertically traverse the sculpture. They softly outline the torso and the legs. The result is the caribou seems more rounded and less lean.
The tail is up which means the caribou is alarmed. The snout is also tipped upward as if the animal is sniffing the air.
Something is about to happen.
Peter's caribous are precious and endearing.
Placing two of them together would create a poignant scene.
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