Johnnysa Mathewsie

One original hand-carved sculpture by Inuit artist, Johnnysa Mathewsie. One goose carved out of marble.

Born: August 11, 1984
Resides: Kinngait, (Cape Dorset)

Johnysa Mathewsie comes from a family of well-known Inuit carvers. He is the son of Qiatsuk Qiatsuk, and the nephew of Palaya Qiatsuk. He mostly learnt a great deal from his grandfather, the renowned master carver Lukta Qiatsuk, starting as young as 12 years old. And his great grandfather is the renowned Kiakshuk. Being inspired from a long lineage of very successful artists, one can imagine how Johnnysa developed such incredible talent and experience, and greatly admired signature designs, involving a high level of carving techniques, especially his remarkable inlay work, combining contrasting stones. He best demonstrates this well-executed technique along with his love for wildlife in his stunning orcas and elegant Canadian geese, inlaying serpentine stone and white marble. The finesse and smoothness of his pieces is truly exceptional craftmanship. The wings of his birds are often spread out ready to soar with fine detail, and his realistic orcas appear as though they are diving in and out of the sea, upheld by a swivel base.

His carving style honors his family, and he is also willing to explore new subjects and stones. In keeping with the family tradition, he sometimes carves shamanistic pieces. His art is also influenced by his communities’ traditions, rituals, and stories.

Johnnysa is an emerging talent from Kinngait (formerly known as Cape Dorset) known as the epicenter of Inuit art. Impressively for a young artist, he now almost exclusively supports himself from his sought-after carvings.