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One of life’s most rewarding experiences is collecting fine art, and sometimes it’s best to take a little more time to make these acquisitions with ease. We understand and want to do everything possible to make collecting your next artwork more comfortable. At Coastal Peoples Gallery, we offer an interest-free layaway program and offer flexible terms which can be customized to your individual needs.
Ottokie Ashoona was born on December 17, 1970 in Cape Dorset, Baffin Island. He comes from a family of world-renowned Inuit artists: his late father Kaka and his uncle Kiawakwere the two most prominent Cape Dorset sculptors; his grandmother, Pitseolak Ashoona, was famous for her drawings and prints.
Ottokie learned to carve at a very young age. It is Ohito Ashoona, his step-brother and also a well-known sculptor, who exercised the greatest influence on Ottokie’s artistic development and expression. Often, they will carve together, and one can see many similarities between their carvings, especially Polar bears.
Like many Inuit artists, Ottokie draws his inspiration from Arctic wildlife. His favourite subject matter is the Polar bear, and he often portrays them swimming, crouching, sitting, sleeping, and on the prowl. His ability to capture the movement and vitality of the animal is remarkable.
Ottokie’s style is highly representative of Cape Dorset Art. It is rooted in a love of naturalism, but has incorporated an affinity for decorative stylization and dramatic expression.
Ottokie takes great care in choosing the stone. His carvings are made of the finest serpentine of varying green shades, often with gold veining, smoothed and highly polished to best exhibit the beauty of the stone.
Serpentine is a metamorphic rock unique to Baffin Island. It is a very hard stone with a composition similar to Jade.
Coiled lime grass, Thread (coloured), Serpentine stone
The process of basket-making is long and arduous as it can take up to a month to weave a large basket. Baskets are made from repeatedly coiling the grass from the bottom of the basket and building the basket up. Designs are created by stitching thread onto the basket, however some designs are actually woven in. This thread can be made from a number of materials, such as de-haired sealskin, leather, and yarn.
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