Two Hawks Fighting
‘Two Hawks Fighting’ by Ohotaq Mikkigak – Inuit Art – Cape Dorset 1961 print collection by Dorset Fine Arts, presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.
Condition: Very Good Condition – print professionally treated for minor handling marks and soft folds in both bottom corners apparently caused by hinge corners used for framing.
Description by Artist: No description by artist found.
Notes from DaVic Gallery: How can two nearly identical static depictions of a hawk create such a dynamic image? The genius of the stencil-maker Ohotaq Mikkigak is in how he expressed the fighting nature of a hawk via its shape as well as the placement of the two birds in relation to each other.
The open beaks, the spread wings and the protruding talons of the birds all signal aggression and determination to win the fight. The 120-degree angle at which the two birds are placed creates a feeling of a fight in flight. Although the two hawks appear nearly identical, one seems to dominate the fight, having forced the other to flip on its back.
This print is unique in Ohotaq Mikkigak’s body of work because the depictions of fights or aggression are not typical in his drawings.
He used a sealskin stencil to create the hawks. Because the differences are very minor between the two hawks, it is possible he used the same stencil to create both, and not two stencils. Since working with a sealskin stencil presents a number of challenges, such as keeping the edges clean and ensuring good colour transfer, we don’t expect to see perfectly identical images created with the same stencil. If you look closely, you can see the differences in both edging and colour saturation in the two hawks.
What makes this print a rare find for a discerning collector is that it came out in 1961, the year Mikkigak released his very first print. Despite coming to us from the early 60s, it is well preserved and sought after, given how limited the run was and how hard it is to find it on the market.
The blank sheet of letter-size (8.5” x 11”) paper covering part of the image in the last picture is for size reference.
The above description is copyrighted and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. When using the copyrighted material, please credit DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.