Kakulu Saggiaktok’s long artistic career has enabled her to explore a range of mediums, from stonecut lithography to aquatint and pencil drawing. Saggiaktok’s practice engages with traditional Inuit spirituality, and liminal spaces between the natural and supernatural worlds. In 2006, she participated in an oil stick workshop run by Montreal printmaker Paul Machnik at the studios in Kinngait (Cape Dorset). The workshop resulted in the exhibition Breaking Ground: Oil Stick Drawings From Cape Dorset at Feheley Fine Arts in 2008; Saggiaktok’s work was shown alongside artists such as Shuvinai Ashoona, Jutai Toonoo and Arnaqu Ashevak. Her works have been regularly featured in the Cape Dorset Annual Print Collections since 1966, as well as on the cover of the fall 2005 issue of the Inuit Art Quarterly. She has been included in international exhibitions, including Uuturautiit: Cape Dorset Celebrates 50 Years of Printmaking in 2009 at the National Gallery of Canada. Her work is held in prominent public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art.
(Info provided by Inuit Art Foundation)
I like to draw birds, Sedna, seals and beluga whales. They are the most fun and I really enjoy seeing them in the wild.
It’s always a good feeling when you see your art work published and know that people appreciate it. -Kakulu Saggiaktok
Kakulu was born in 1940 on board the Hudson’s Bay Company supply ship, Nascopie. Her family had travelled from south Baffin Island to hunt and trap in the northern regions of the island. Kakulu was a child when she moved back to the Cape Dorset area.
Kakulu began to draw in the early 1960’s when the West Baffin Co-operative established its printmaking studios. Many of her images explore the theme of transformation, with animals blending into other animals, humans becoming animals and vice versa. This is a predominant subject in traditional Inuit folklore and Kakulu Saggiaktok mythology, where the natural and supernatural worlds were mediated by the shaman. Kakulu’s work is always imaginative and often playful and charming and much of her inspiration comes from her childhood memories of living on the land.
Kakulu’s mother was Ikayukta (deceased), also one of the early contributors to the annual print collections from Cape Dorset. Kakulu was married to Saggiaktok (deceased), who was a printmaker in the stonecut studio for many years.