Nesting Bird (1976)
Syollie Amituk Awp (1936 - 1986)
Stonecut and stencil, #26/38
21½" x 18
Syollie Awp was born in Puvirnituq in 1936 and came from a family of well known carvers. His older brother, Davidialuk, was one of the communities’ most celebrated artists, as was his cousin Joe Talirunili. As a child, Amituk was encouraged to carve and depict “the old way of life” by his much older and accomplished brother, Davidialuk. When the community’s print shop opened its doors in the early 1960s, Amituk was among the first artists eager to try his hand at printmaking. Best known for his expressive works on paper, Syollie also produced many sculptures early in his career. He mainly worked with stonecut prints, but also tried his hand at stencils with a wide range of arctic wildlife (particularly birds), legends, narrative scenes, and hunting. When Amituk began making prints in the 1960s, his work often featured simplistic representations of birds and other subject matter rendered in a singular perspective. By the 1970s, Amituk’s work was more accomplished and featured more active scenes, legends, and reflections on the “old way of living.”
One of Puvirnituq’s most recognized printmakers, over 30 of Amituk’s prints were included in annual print releases between 1972 and 1986. His work is now included in notable public collections across the country including those of the Glenbow Museum, the University of Alberta Art Collection, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies. He passed away in 1986.