Ooloosie Saila was born in Kinngait, Nunavut, in 1991. She is the granddaughter of Pauta Saila, a celebrated sculptor and graphic artist.
As a child, Ooloosie was inspired to begin drawing through her occasional visits to the home of her friend’s grandmother, the renowned artist Kenojuak Ashevak. These visits facilitated an environment where Saila would cultivate her drawing skills, as well as her sharp eye for colour and composition. It also provided her with a deep understanding of the importance of hard work and perseverance.
By the time she was fifteen, Ooloosie had begun working in the Kinngait Studios. Today, at 31 years old, she continues to explore diverse themes and ideas in her work, with a recent focus on northern landscape and wildlife.
The artists’ large-scale drawings show a world of small nuanced details, from pencil strokes depicting the movement of water, to patterns that flatten the picture plane yet create a distinct impression of texture. Her all-encompassing pattern-making, with squiggles, stripes, dots, and vibrant colours, serves as a visual marker of the artists’ emerging yet distinct style.
Saila is gaining more recognition as she continues her artistic practice and has had several of her works translated into prints for the Dorset Fine Arts Annual Print collection. Even in the early stages in her career, this graphic artist continues to draw attention from both Canadian and international collectors.