Inuk Charlie

Born in 1941

Inuk Charlie is the eldest son of well-known Inukjuak artist Johnny Inukpuk. He once said:

In the 1950s, I believe, I started sculpting. I never learned, but I learned by looking at the time when we lived in the camps where there were no whites. That’s how I learn, watching my dad and other sculptors. When we lived in Nauligaqvik, where I first learned to carve, we could get soapstone from Nauligaqvik. I don’t exactly remember my very first sculpture. At the time, we were only doing sculptures. If the sculptures were small, we could do ten a week. We sculpted to sell while we worked

When I started carving, the main challenge was determining the hardness of the soapstone since the density varies. It was easier to work with the softer stone. I would start with the ax-shredder, and as I did that would start to visualize it. The shape of the stone also gave me ideas. As I gradually erased it, I was like, “It’s shaping itself like this …” and the forming sculpture would start to follow my thoughts from there.

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