Mosesie Pootoogook is a fulltime stone carver who utilizes serpentine, marble and antler in his beautiful interpretations of people, animals, and modern day items such as airplanes and boats. He has developed his own unique style; his charming and endearing figures are frequently engaged in action.
“Fix that a little bit”, Misesie’s father Paulassie used to tell him when he first started carving. That was 18 years ago, when Mosesie was 11. Receiving specific instruction when learning how to carve is not common: most carvers say that they learned simply by watching their father or uncle. Mosesie says that it gets tedious when you carve all day long. When he finishes a piece earlier than expected, he finds it a much more enjoyable and fun experience.
Perhaps that is why “Moe” specializes in small works. Their miniature size also makes them affordable and desirable. Moe is a mong the group of young Cape Dorset carvers, including Markusie Papigatuk, Pauloosie Joanassie, Jutai Soudloo, Pauloosie Topaungai, and David Atchealak, who have gone south to carve for a while, sometimes up to seven or eight months. They enjoy the stimulus, the variety, and the freedom of a larger place. Compared to the confines of a remote Arctic community such as Cape Dorset, it offers many opportunities, such as going to concerts and National League hockey games.
Moe went south several times over a period of four years to carve for Polar North in Montreal. A sort of barter system was used. The carvings the artists made were exchanged for their airfare, food, and housing. They would also get around $60 a day in spending money. They would work in four large, well-vented rooms near the Dorval airport. The stone they used from Cape Dorset. Today this southern studio no longer exists; however, there is another carving business in Sayabec, north of Quebec City, where Mark Pitseolak Sr. goes to carve.
Moe’s work is shown in fine galleries around the world and has been featured in exhibits in Canada, the United States, Germany, France, and Switzerland.