Birds Over the Sun

Art Type
Cape Dorset 1960
Sealskin Stencil on Hamilton Andorra paper
Certified Limited Edition Print # 31 of 50
Size (in)
Paper (H x W): 13 x 20 in
Size (cm)
Paper (H x W): 33 x 51 cm
Not Framed
Product ID



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Birds Over the Sun’ by Kenojuak Ashevak, RCA, OC  – Inuit Art – Cape Dorset 1960 print collection presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.

Condition:           Very Good condition – Professionally treated for discoloration and yellowing of the paper – framing mat discoloration of paper remains visible along perimeter of paper.  Beautiful strong image.

Description by Artist:     No description by artist found.

Notes from DaVic Gallery:   This uplifting print by a renowned artist Kenojuak Ashevak is nothing less but poetry in motion, captured as one fleeting moment… one ballet move up in the sky. She captures the flight of the free-spirited birds as they soar before our eyes against the warm sun. We don’t know where they came from. We don’t know where they are going – perhaps back to their nests… Our gaze follows their flight, sharing their delight of being airborne and free.

It’s clear the birds belong to the same species and could appear identical, yet the artist gave them their individuality, varying their body shapes and sizes, the number and length of feathers in their tails, and the position of their wings. And yet, as a whole, they express the same delight of sky-forward movement and possibly a nearing of their home. Looking at their open beaks, we can almost hear them sing their happy bird song.

The deep orange hue of the sun creates warmth not just in the image, but in the hearts of the viewers. The diffused glow of the sun brings a sense of calm, nurture and safety. The sun provides the perfect backdrop for the birds, offsetting their silhouetted bodies, making them the joyous foreground upon which the viewer’s eye can rest.

During the early years of experimental printmaking, stencilling was done using sealskin. Sealskin was scraped clean of the fur and tanned to make it a workable stencil. The pelts, however, were too stiff and tended to ripple, causing ink to bleed outside the image’s contour. The clean lines and perfect execution of this valuable print by Kenojuak Ashevak is a testament to the technical mastery of the sealskin stencil printer, making this print a rarity.

The relatively small size of the print makes it versatile. It can fit any space, depending on the framing. Matted, it can be made into a larger framed piece of art for a bigger wall space, adorning either your home or office.

The blank sheet of letter-size (8.5” x 11”) paper covering part of the image is for size reference (last picture).