Pavinak Petaulassie

b. 1961

Pavinaq’s father, the late Aggeak Petaulassie (1983), was also a carver. His mother, Timangiak, and brothers Qatsiya and Etidlui are artists in Cape Dorset.

“My father used to tell me about carving…I like carving in stone because it is easier to work with.” Pavinaq began carving in the early 1970’s and prefers groupings of birds or walrus, “They are beautiful animals, that’s why.” From an interview with the Inuit Art Section, November, 1994.

Since 1984 the artist’s work has been shown in Vancouver, Toronto, Banff, and San Francisco.

Birds were an important part of traditional Inuit life. In addition to being sources of food and other materials, migratory birds also signaled the changing seasons. Very few species live in the Arctic year-round: these birds, which include owls, ravens and ptarmigan, are depicted more regularly than their migratory counterparts.

Cape Dorset serpentine ranges in color from light yellow-green to black. Although a hard stone, in skilled hands the serpentine offers the opportunity to achieve flowing forms, lines bold and delicate, as well as glistening, elegant finishes. Sites for finding the stone are many miles east of Dorset.