Bart Hanna

Inuit Native Artist Bart Hanna from Igloolik / Iglulik

Igloolik / Iglulik

Bart Hanna was born in 1948, in a small camp north of the Iglulik.

He works with a variety of different media indigenous to the Iglulik community. This list includes serpentine, Arctic Bay white marble, Brazilian crystalline alabaster, caribou antler, muskox horn, walrus tusk, and baleen. Bart’s sculptures usually reflect both his great imagination, as well as his influences from the spirit world. He also takes inspiration from textures; raw, rough materials, as well as soft polished stone. He is known for incorporating great detail, down to the hair, fur or feathers of the figure. The themes that Bart most frequently explores include arctic animals, drum dancing, and spirit figures often in totems.

In 1992, Bart played a small role of a drum dancer, in the movie “Shadow of the Wolf”, starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Donald Sutherland. In 2005, Bart created 23 drawings which were used for a CD-ROM program, designed for Nunavut High School students to learn about Inuit land use and way finding.

Bart has had the privilege of being an artist-in-residence at the Kipling Gallery in Woodbridge Ontario, and also at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection Gallery in Kleinburg Ontario. Bart has received grants from the Kakivak Association and the Baffin Business Development Corporation. These bursaries have made it possible for Bart to upgrade his workshop to state of the art standards.

“I try to listen to the stone more than myself. I don’t want to force it. I want to go with the stone. Naturalness of the figure is important, especially with the Sednas”

(Bart Hanna in Gunderson 2007:22)

Works by this Artist (Present + Past + Public)

Present Works

  • Drumming Sedna

    Bart Hanna



    As goddess of the ocean, Sedna sets strict rules about the proper way to treat the animals of the hunt, which the Inuit require for sustenance. This includes proper treatment of the animals’ spirit when killed for food. If she feels the rules have been broken, she cuts off the supply of food. When this happens, the Inuit tribal shaman is required to take a mystical journey to the bottom of the ocean to speak to the goddess. It is considered the most dangerous journey an Inuit shaman is called upon to make.

    Upon arrival at the bottom of the sea the shaman is required to comb Sedna’s hair, because Sedna has no fingers to comb it herself, and to find out what the tribe has done wrong that the food has been cut off. The shaman then makes a deal with Sedna, promising that if the tribe corrects whatever transgressions it has made, the goddess will return their food supply. The shaman then returns to the tribe with the list of things the goddess requires to be done to get the food back.

Past Works

The artist’s Past Works at our Gallery have now sold; however, a custom order may be possible if the artist is available and accepting commissions.