Ottokie Samayualie

dancing bear Inuit Art Sculpture in Serpentine

Born June 17, 1980 (Cape Dorset, Nunavut)

Ottokie Samayualie is the son of talented local artists Johnny and Kuluajuke Tunnillee. In Nunavut, it is not uncommon to see a recurring artistic talent in a family. Indeed, in this territory, talent, as well as artistic know-how, is transmitted from generation to generation rather than in an art academy.

Ottokie started sculpting at the age of 9. His favourite subject is the dancing bear, which he presents in many different poses. In his sculptures, we find a combination of abstract and realistic shapes.

His sculptures are made of the finest serpentine, in different shades of green, then smoothed and polished to better show the brilliance of the stone. Serpentine is a rock similar in composition to jade and is found on Baffin Island. It is a very hard stone which requires more artistic virtuosity to carve than the softer soapstone.