Bart Hanna Kappianaq

transformation Inuit Art Sculpture in marble

Born in 1948 (Alanarjuk Lake, Nunavut)

Bart Hanna started carving when he was just 13 years old. He is the youngest brother of Lukie Airut, a well-known carver. Bart was taught the basics of carving by his father and later pursued formal artistic training at Algonquin College in Ottawa. He used leftover soapstone, cracked carvings and ones that were not considered as good and, borrowing tools, he used to make small animal carvings. Sometimes he would work on carvings that had been started but given up on by others. Nowadays, he works with soapstone, serpentine, alabaster, ivory and bone to create carvings that stay true to the nature of the material.

He took several art courses in Canada as well as in the United States.

His style is highly detailed and depicts life in the Arctic and cultural spirits. He is well-known for his carvings of Sednas, drum dancers and shamanism. His unique imagination and style can be seen in his creation of male Sednas, which are tradionally represented as female.

Hanna is one of the few Inuit artists to carve male Sednas: “I broke something and the figure became male. After that, even though nothing in the traditional story says Sedna was male, I just wanted to follow my imagination.”

He is a renowned sculptor based in Iglulik, celebrated for the fine detailing in his sculptures.

His work is held in the permanent collections of galleries and museums throughout Canada and the United states, and has appeared in Inuit Art Quarterly on multiple occasions.