Toonoo Sharky (RCA)
Born June 5 1970 (Cape Dorset, Nunavut)
Although Toonoo’s parents, Josephee Sharky and Ragee Killiktee, were both sculptors, he also attributes his grandfather, master sculptor Kupapik Ragee, and his uncle Shorty Killiktee as a major influence to his art.
The artist started sculpting at the age of ten, but didn’t start to get serious until the age of thirteen. He exhibited for the very first time when he was only seventeen. To this day, Sharky is considered one of the most exciting young sculptors to emerge in the Arctic.
His favourite themes include whimsical and quite dramatic scenarios of wildlife, especially birds. The artist also sculpts transformational themes, both powerful and humorous, in serpentine stone or marble.
Toonoo once said, “I love the colours and also the textures of the two stones. When I start on a piece of stone, I like to slowly work on the piece until it starts to take a shape that I can recognize. Sometimes I just follow the shape of the stone. My favourite subjects are bird figures with human faces. ”
He had the honour of being elected to the Royal Canadian Academy (RCA) in 2003 and his work is widely exhibited in collections, such as the National Collection of Indian and Inuit Art, the Anthropology Museum and much more.