Oviloo Tunnillie was born in Cape Dorset and began carving seriously in 1972. She recalls when she was a child: "I didn't know I could carve, but watching my father, Toonoo, I learned... From there, I began to learn to carve, always noticing the beauty and shapes of the rock." Touched personally by the profound cultural and social transformations of the Inuit through contact with the South, Tunnillie's work sensitively deals with difficult topics such as domestic violence and substance abuse. Notably, Tunnillie is among the first Inuit artists to explore the female nude in her sculptures. In addition to innovative and controversial subject matter, Tunnillie uses new materials to express her ideas, such as quartz crystal and white marble. When these media are combined with the dark green serpentine stone from the Cape Dorset area, the results are captivating.
Born in Kangiat, Nunavut, 20 December 1949
Library and Archives