Toonoo Sharky (RCA)

Bird Inuit Art Sculpture in Serpentine

Born: June 5, 1970   Male

Toonoo’s parents, Josephee Sharky and Ragee Killiktee, were both carvers, though he credits his grandfather, master carver Kupapik Ragee and his uncle Shorty Killiktee as influences.

Toonoo started carving at ten, began to get serious at thirteen and first exhibited when he was just seventeen. He is regarded as one of the most exciting young carvers to emerge in the Arctic.

His themes include fanciful and quite dramatic treatments of wildlife, particularly birds, and transformational works that are both powerful and humorous. He likes to carve in Serpentine and marble.

Toonoo once said “I like the colours and also the textures of both stones. When I’m starting on a piece of stone, I like to slowly work on the piece until the shape starts forming into a shape I can recognize. Sometimes I just go by the shape of the stone. My favourite subjects are bird figures with human faces.”

He was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 2003 and his work is widely shown in collections such as the National Indian & Inuit Art Collection, the Musee d’art Inuit Brousseau, the Museum of Anthropology and and much more.