Jonasie Quarqortoq (Faber) is an Inuit artist who occupies a unique place in the Inuit culture of Canada. He was born in Julianhaab, Greenland in October, 1944 and moved to Canada when he was 30. He lives in Princeton, B.C. In contrast to other Inuit carvers, many of whom remain deeply rooted in their homeland and in their culture, Jonasie has traveled widely and experienced many other cultures while still preserving his Inuit heritage.
In need of soapstone and with a heart for adventure, Jonasie went prospecting in his new home land and established a soapstone claim. He educated himself in the properties of the medium and, drawing on his experiences as a boy, transformed raw stone into lively, emotion filled works of art. Jonasie developed his talent. His sculptures are now collected throughout the world including the Royal Danish family.
Jonasie found himself in a new role as teacher when he relocated to the Indian Reserve where his soapstone mine is located. He established an Art School and Gallery and the students had a showing in San Fransico. Jonasie moved to Baja California, Mexico for eight months then returned to B.C. in the fall of 1997, settling in Princeton. He began designing a line of silver jewelry featuring dancing bears, inukshuk, ulu and inukshuk snowflakes.
His art is a reflection of his rich life experiences, Inuit heritage and colourful, jovial personality.
Jonasie Faber with his daughter at the Museum of Anthropology.
Photo by Hailey Mah