Kelly Etidloie

Born: 1966       Male

Kelly Etidloie was born in Cape Dorset on April 25th, 1966.  His birth parents Etigajaarjuak and Taktu Pee lived on the land. His mother passed away shortly after child birth and Kelly was adopted by Kingmeata and Etidloie who lived in Cape Dorset.  Kingmeata and Etidloie spent a lot of their time working on their art.

Kelly was the youngest in the family.  His father Etidlooie carved humans, birds and seals. Kellypalik learned to carve by watching his elders and by helping his sister Omalluk. He carved his first piece, which was a bird at the age of 15, and continued to work on his skills as a carver. He moved to Montreal for five years and worked with Moe Pootoogook, Markoosie Papigatok, Teevee Atsealak and Pauloosie Joanasie.

Kelly returned to Cape Dorset and continued his carving career at home.  He used to carve with Isacie Etidloie, his nephew but now he carves by himself.  His common-law wife Annie Salomonie helps finish some of his carvings and sands them.

In the past, Kelly was known for his carved masks with human faces and birds incorporated into the design.  Over the past few years, Kelly has been exploring the theme of wildlife grooming themselves. A bird preening with a delicate feather in its beak and a beautiful outstretched wing. The scratching musk ox with detailed hooves and a turned head.  Kelly captures the intimate moments of birds feeding their young. His favourite bird to carve is the owl.

Kelly enjoys carving musk ox because it gives him the chance to add more details.  His work has developed over the past few years from straight hair to windswept hair, effectively capturing a subtle moment of movement.  The running musk ox included in the current collection has one front paw bent backward and the musk ox hair has tremendous motion, capturing a musk ox in a moment of flight.  Kelly’s musk ox can also be standing strong and stoic taking on the challenges of the north in stride.

Kelly and his family like walking on the land along the coast for clam digging. He observes birds during this time and uses it for inspiration in his work.  He carves today to provide for his family.  It is rewarding for Kelly to finish a piece and be able to sell it.

His work has been exhibited across Canada, as well as in the United States, France, Germany, and Switzerland.


By this artist