Paulosie Sivuak: 1930-1987

Paulosie Sivuak, one of the foremost artists in the Povungnituk Cooperative will be remembered not only for his artistic contributions, but also for his involvement with economic and political issues confronting the Inuit. Born into a hunting society in 1930, Paulosie witnessed numerous changes in the course of his 56 years. Never one to remain passive or disinterested, he became actively involved in both the artistic and social evolution of a people.

Not only was Paulosie instrumental in the formation of the Povungnituk Cooperative in 1958, but he served as an emissary to La Federation des Cooperative du Nouveau-Quebec in 1967 and, later, served as president of Inuit Tungavingai Nunamini, the movement opposed to the James Bay Agreement. He was, in short, a devoted proponent of a culture that he saw as vibrant and alive, despite outside encroachments.

The 20 prints included in this exhibition were all produced in the 1980s. Each captures his appreciation for the playfulness and caprice inherent in the process of natural selection. Be it the walruses, awakened by the seagulls, rather lethargically looking for trouble, the jaeger and snow bunting at play, or the polar bear assuming a variety of poses, one is struck by the accuracy of the portrayal and the lightness of the mood. Those works that celebrate human endeavors have an equally spontaneous spirit, capturing the crazy-quilt that is so often regarded with far too much solemnity.