Artworks and Artists
When the Days Are Long and the Sun Shines into the Night

When the Days Are Long and the Sun Shines into the Night,
Oonark, Jessie
felt pen and graphite on wove paper
126.8 x 317.8 cm trimmed irregular at l. and r.


This drawing is the largest in all of contemporary Inuit art. Newly arrived in Baker Lake in 1966, artistic advisor Boris Kotelewetz gave Oonark brushes and paint along with a roll of paper, thinking she would cut it up into smaller sheets. Instead, a few years later, she gave him back the same roll, covered entirely with a composite scene illustrating traditional activities under the midnight sun. This felt pen drawing sums up the broad repertoire of the artist's subject matter. Hunting and fishing, games and celebrations are taking place in various locations on the sheet around a more or less centrally placed qaggiq. Around the igloo is the repeated representation of a sun motif, like the numbers on a clock.