‘Kalupalik’ by Tim Pitsiulak – Inuit Art from Cape Dorset 2016 original hand drawing collection presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.
Condition: No condition noted.
Description by Artist: No description by artist found.
Notes from DaVic Gallery: This pencil drawing by Inuit artist Tim Pitsiulak is a fantastic rendition of the mystical and menacing creature Kalupalik.
Kalupalik, or Qalupalik, is a myth that was told by Inuit parents and elders to their children to prevent them from wandering to the dangerous shore, where the Kalupaliks live. Kalupalik is a human-like creature with long hair, green skin and long fingernails that lives in the sea under the ice floes. Kalupalik wears an amauti so she can steal babies and children who disobey their parents and wander off alone to the shore. In her amauti, she carries them under water, where she adopts them as her own.
Kalupaliks have a distinctive humming sound, and the elders have said you can hear the Kalupaliks humming when they are near. Even today, the Kalupalik story is being taught to Inuit children by their parents and teachers.
In this superbly executed drawing, Kalupalik is seen stealthily crawling under the ice surface, hunting for unsuspecting children who dare to go near the ice floes alone. She crawls upside down with her hair falling towards the sea floor, where seaweed is tossed by the water current. The choice of the black background and a nearly monochromatic depiction of Kalupalik in brown-greenish tones creates a foreboding feeling, reflecting the darkness of the underwater world of the arctic and the dangers lurking underneath.
The blank sheet of letter-size (8.5” x 11”) paper covering part of the image in the last picture is for size reference.