Derrald Taylor

One original hand-carved sculpture by Inuit artist, Derrald Taylor carved out of serpentine and caribou Antler

Derrald Taylor was born fourth of seven children in Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories, a small community on the shores of the Arctic Ocean with a population of one thousand people. Growing up in Tuktoyaktuk, he spent much of his time hunting and fishing in the lifestyle of his ancestors. Derrald is now based in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories.

Born into an artistic family, Derrald credits his father, Bobby, for instilling an interest in carving at an early age. Derrald would watch his father and then practice with hand tools on antlers and whalebone. Eventually, he progressed to soapstone and now uses all three materials to create his works of art. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, Derrald began using power tools to craft his artwork. He still finishes each piece by hand.
Derrald’s carvings reflect a hunter’s knowledge in his precise depiction of Arctic animals such as caribou, muskox, beluga whales and polar bears. His ability to capture the essence of the animal he is portraying demonstrates a firsthand intimacy with its characteristics and anatomy. Each of his sculptures showcases incredible fine detail and exquisitely captures the silhouette of any animal he features. A perfect example is the realistic windswept fur of one of his muskox. His work is also inspired by his people and their culture. A familiar subject of his are Inuvialuit Drum Dancers playing in traditional dress.

While Derrald is more known to work in small or miniature form, in more recent years, he’s also been gaining experience as an ice sculptor, working in much larger format. In 2021 he took part in the Winterlude National Ice-Carving Competition. The impressive life-size piece he created titled “As Spirit Told”, featured a drum dancer, a dancing child and a standing bear. This shows he is continuing to challenge himself and grow as an artist.

By this artist