1927 - 2013
The Woman Who Lives in the Sun
stonecut on paper
titled, editioned 20/50, dated 1960, inscribed "Cape Dorset Baffin Island" and "Kenojuak" and stamped with the West Baffin Eskimo Co-Operative seal
19 1/2 x 26 in, 49.5 x 66 cm
Estimate: $20,000 - $30,000 CAD
Sold for: $46,250
Private Collection, Toronto
James Houston, Eskimo Prints, 1971, reproduced page 38
Ernst Roch, Arts of the Eskimo: Prints, 1974, reproduced front cover and page 37
Jean Blodgett, Kenojuak, 1985, reproduced catalogue #10
Leslie Boyd Ryan, Cape Dorset Prints: A Retrospective, 2007, reproduced page 53
Gerald McMaster et al., Inuit Modern: The Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, 2010, reproduced page 81
Anna Hudson et al., Tunirrusiangit: Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitseiulak, 2018, reproduced page 81
In Inuit culture, the sun is feminine, and Kenojuak joyfully portrays this in her print, The Woman Who Lives in the Sun. With her distinctive style, the sun's rays closely resemble the plumage of her famous owl prints, while chin tattoos radiate from the smiling face. Produced in an edition of 50, the first 25 were printed in yellow, and the second half in a red-orange – a decision made in haste as the yellow paint ran dry. Yellow, the colour of the sun, was the obvious first choice for colour; though the red version of this print may be more dramatic when reproduced in books, the yellow version has a luminosity that is difficult to match.
In a 1979 interview with Marion Jackson, Kenojuak confirmed that the inspiration for this print came from an Inuit myth about the sun and moon. After a brother and sister unknowingly committed incest, the sister fled into the sky in shame, carrying a brightly lit torch. The brother chased after her, but his torch went out, and he became the moon, while his sister transformed into the sun.
Print Maker: Lukta Qiatsuk (1928-2004)
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