Pauta Saila (RCA)

Born in 1916 (Baffin Island, Nunavut) – Died in 2009 (Cape Dorset, Nunavut)

Pauta Saila was born in Kilaparutua. He began carving as a teenager, making implements and tools from ivory. His work was in the famous 1971-73 “Sculpture of the Inuit: Masterworks of the Canadian Arctic” exhibition that toured the world and gave him international recognition.

Pauta Saila learned by watching his father, who was also camp leader, to live on the land as well as how to shape stone. He remained a hunter throughout his life, and focused his artistic endeavours solely to carving in 1981, working primarily in soapstone.

He has worked on a variety of themes of the Arctic wildlife but is most famous for his dancing bears which were powerful and somewhat abstract. Pauta was honoured to be elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA) in 2003.

Even thought his passing away, Pauta Saila is still an undeniable reference in Inuit art.

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