Isacci Etidloie

(1972 – 2014)

Isacci Etidloie was a sculptor from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. Inspired by the artistic legacy left by his father, Etulu Etidloie, and his grandparents, Etidlooie Etidlooie (1910 – 1981) and Kingmeata Etidlooie (1915 – 1989), Isacci picked up his first set of hand tools at the age of seven. Like many other artists, his earlier works are filled with figures engaged in the daily practices of nomadic Inuit life: hunting, fishing, cooking or sewing. Drawing upon the influence of his father’s profession as an Inuit folk singer, Etidloie often explored themes that were expressed through song such as drum dancing, supernatural stories and elaborate spirit transformations, alongside everyday objects and activities.

Showcasing the interactive quality of his work, Etidloie’s piece Singing Spirit (2003), depicts a shaman’s song producing a spirit face. This longer spirit stone, fitted with a mirror, emerges from the shaman’s open mouth, offering the admirer an opportunity to completely pull the portion out and a reveal a reflection of their self. While he enjoyed working on larger pieces, Etidloie also created much smaller items with practical uses. Jewellery boxes, harpoons and pen holders are just some examples of what can be found in his oeuvre. Etidloie’s technical skills further appear in his pieces where multiple materials have been employed. His later work offers up layered constructions that are enlivened not only by contrasting colours and textures but also by expertly balanced forms.

Etidloie’s sculptures have travelled in exhibitions throughout Canada, the United States and Europe since the 1990s, including Dezhan Ejan (2004) at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC and at the Gemeentelijk Kunstcentrum Inuit art show in Belgium (1994). His works are featured in a number of permanent collections such as the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, ON, and the Canada Council Art Bank in Ottawa, ON.

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