Tuesday, March 01, 2005

My Inuit Art Dancing Polar Bear Carving

During my first trip up to Iqaluit, I saw an Inuit carver working outside his house. I went up to him and he was working on a polar bear carving. I noticed that part of one foot of the bear was chipped off. He said that he would repair by the evening. Later that night, I met him with his finished dancing bear carving complete with the repaired foot. I asked him which foot was the damaged one. He just said, "You tell me." I was not able to. It was obvious that this Inuit carver had not only talent in carving but also repairing sculptures. His name is Johnnylee Nooveya and in my opinion, he is one of the up and coming rising starts of the Inuit art world. I have since acquired other Inuit carvings by him and he is one of the best polar bear carvers around. To this day, this Inuit dancing bear is my personal favorite piece and remains in my own collection. Here's an image of it below and you can see larger versions of it on the home page of Free Spirit Gallery Inuit Art.

Inuit Art Dancing Polar Bear


Chui Tey said...

Exquisite! Does the bear actually balances on one leg without support?

Wiliam Waites said...

Very ice. I have seen other "dancing bears" and have even handled them in our galelry. Is this a common subject for Inuit carvers?

Clint said...

The dancing bears are becoming more popular subjects for the Inuit carvers because of market demand. The only problem is not every Inuit carver knows how to carve stone so that the bears balance well. I have more examples of dancing bears as well as a dancing walrus in my online gallery.