KAROO ASHEVAK (1940-1974), E4-196, Spence Bay
bone, inlay stone
signed in syllabics
19.5" x 13" x 17" — 49.5 x 33 x 43.2 cm.
Karoo Ashevak was fortunate enough to possess the carving skills to bring his imaginative ideas to life. The result of this combination is his extraordinary body of work, full of spirituality, tradition, humour, complexity and the joy that so often described his temperament when he was carving.
Ashevak is best known for his shaman drum dancers and they tend to be sought-after by collectors and museums. A significant part of Inuit spirituality, the shaman sets the tone and unites those involved in a ceremony by drumming and dancing.
Whalebone was Ashevak’s favoured medium, and even though it is notoriously difficult to work with he seemed to utilize the existing shapes and manipulate the bone to portray his concepts. Whalebone was sparse in Taloyoak, so most was flown in for carving from prehistoric Thule and ancient whaling sites.
Acquired directly from the artist. The father of the consignor was a Professor at the University of Alberta and specialized in northern people and lands. He worked throughout the Arctic for most of his life. He met Ashevak on one of his trips to Taloyoak (Spence Bay) and admired his work greatly. The exact year of acquisition was not recorded.