Midweek Modness: Stone Bird
I found this wonderful Inuit stone carving at the Salvation Army last week. It is a fairly large, minimalist depiction of an Arctic bird. It has a wonderful smooth surface and a fantastically simple silhouette. The only decoration is the incised eyes.
On the bottom is the co-op label, an inventory number and a signature that reads “Eddie.” The igloo tags are an interesting artefact themselves. They were introduced by the Government of Canada as a sort of registered trademark to protect the consumer and Inuit carvers from fakers who produced “Eskimo-style” artwork.
The Inuit have been creating art forever, but development of a co-op began around 1958, after artwork from Cape Dorset’s legendary printmaking shop started selling in the south. The plan was to encourage community members to participate directly in the economic development of their communities through co-operative ownership. The model was followed in many different Inuit communities.
I haven’t been able to figure out who the artist is but I’ll keep hunting.