Giver of Life
‘Giver of Life’ by Jessie Oonark, RCA, OC – Inuit Art – Baker Lake 1984 print collection presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.
Condition: Overall great condition. Bright colours. Very mild near negligible discouloration noted around edges where mat of previous framing. Three areas with mild dents to paper probably caused during framing. These are only noticed when seeing print at angle against sunlight. Photos included.
Description by Artist: No description by artist found.
Notes from DaVic Gallery: Jessie Oonark converted to Christianity in 1927 and was baptized in 1944. Oonark began depicting Christian imagery in the mid 1960s, and although she is better known for her depictions of shamanism and the spirit world, it could be argued that Oonark’s Christian faith probably infused much of her graphic and textile art compositionally if not always thematically. Giver of Life, one of Oonark’s best-known prints and certainly the most famous of her Christian images, is based on a 1978 drawing by the artist. A copy was presented to Pope John Paul II by Oonark’s eldest daughter Janet Kigusiuq at an outdoor Papal Mass held in Ottawa in September 1984.
This image was included in two important Winnipeg Art Gallery exhibitions and catalogues: Jean Blodgett and Marie Bouchard, Jessie Oonark: A Retrospective (WAG, 1987), fig. 79, and Darlene Wight, ed., Creation and Transformation (WAG, 2012), fig. 76.