Sikkuark’s drawings and sculptures illustrate the entanglements between the natural and the supernatural worlds. Sikkuark was Netsilik (the people of the seal) and Born on the land near Garry Lake. He worked primarily in sculpture until 2003, after which his practice shifted to drawing. His uncanny works oscillate between the natural and the supernatural. In his sculptures, everything is in motion—carved spirits fly, jump, and dance; whale hunters face their prey; and snow worms with affable faces balance delicately on their tails.

In his drawings, faces and bodies emerge from multicoloured patterns that are evocative of lichen or electrical currents. Much like Sikkuark’s sculptures, his drawings feature people and things in motion—shamans zip through the air, leaving trails of cosmic dust; drops of what initially look like water or snow are eyes. Sikkuark was intrigued by perception, which is evident in his representations of the supernatural as well as the push and pull of perspectival space. In many of his drawings, the foreground and background are interchangeable, affecting how and what you see.


Nick Sikkuark (Inuit, born in 1943, Garry Lake, NU, Canada; died in 2013 in Kugaaruk, NU, Canada) began his carving career in 1967 when he was in Gjoa Haven. As a young man he studied for the clergy in Winnipeg and Ottawa before settling in Kugaaruk, Nunavut. It was there that Sikkuark began using organic materials to make the fantastical sculptures. In 2003, Sikkuark shifted his practice from carving to drawing on paper, producing a significant body of work in the medium.

Exhibition Site

259 Lake Shore Blvd East

259 Lake Shore Blvd East
Toronto ON
M5A 3T7