Iqaluit, Cape Dorset
Mathew Nuqingaq was born in 1967 on Broughton Island but now resides in Iqaluit where he works and teaches.
Mathew began working with jewelry in 1990 when he decided to take an evening course. Since then he has gained recognition at an international level for both his artistry and his role as a cultural leader. In 1999, he received his Jewelry & Metalwork diploma.
Nuqingaq’s talent for working with metal and his desire to represent Inuit culture and traditions through his work result in unique, wearable pieces of art. His designs include Inuit tools, arctic animals and draw on popular figures from Inuit stories.
Mathew runs the Aayuraa Studio, meaning snow-goggles in Inuktitut. From this studio he teaches jewelry courses to student of all ages and also practices traditional drum dancing, photography and sculpting. Through this studio he has created a collaborative space which has allowed the artists of his community to come to together and fully realize their abilities. One of Mathew’s goals is to give artists the resources and knowledge to take their passions from a hobby to a full-time career.
Nuqingaq’s work takes traditional images from the Arctic and presents them in a refined, contemporary fashion. He believes that inspiration comes from diligent work and collaboration as stated:
“We teach and then we learn from them, it goes both ways all the time. Even if it’s a young person.”
Mathew was named to the Order of Canada in 2016 for his contribution to the arts. He was a co-founder of the NACA (Nunuvat Arts and Crafts Association) and works there part-time. He was elected as a Member of the Order of Canada on November 18, 2016. As well, he is on the advisory committee for Canada Council and Secretary/Treasurer for the Inuit Art Foundation.