27. Bear Crossing
Stonecut & Stencil
22.8 x 31 cm (9 x 12 1/4 in.)
Pitaloosie Saila (1942) was born on the southwest coast of Baffin Island near the present day community of Cape Dorset. She spent her childhood years in various hospitals in Quebec and Ontario for treatment of tuberculosis. She learned English during this time, and recalls the difficulty she experienced in relearning her native language upon her return to Baffin Island in 1957. She is now one of the few of her generation who speak both English and Inuktitut fluently.
Pitaloosie began drawing in the early 1960's, and quickly established herself as a versatile and intelligent graphic artist. Over the years, she has become a familiar presence in the Kinngait Studios, and her work has been included in annual print collections since 1968.
Since the late 1960's, Pitaloosie has made frequent trips to southern Canada to attend exhibitions and conferences with her husband, the well-known sculptor Pauta Saila. Subsequently, she has visited Halifax, Toronto, Ottawa, Kansas City and Vermont. Her work has been featured in many solo drawing exhibitions, and she was one of nine featured artists in the acclaimed exhibition Isumavut: The Artistic Expression of Nine Cape Dorset Women, which opened at the Canadian Museum of Civilization in the fall of 1994.