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i u a pi pu pa ti tu ta ki ku ka gi gu ga mi mu ma ni nu na si su sa li lu la ji ju ja vi vu va ri ru ra qi qu qa ngi ngu nga lhi lhu lha

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Oviloo Tunnillie, R.C.A.

Settlement: Cape Dorset / Kinngait

(1949-2014) — E7-779

Oviloo was the child of two artists, Sheojuk and Toonoo Tunnillie, born in 1949 at one of several ancestral camps her family occupied before settling in Kinngait on Baffin Island in Nunavut. She grew up with her family, traditionally on the land, but like many Inuit of that era, was hospitalized in the south for tuberculosis. Having watched her father carve, she took an early interest in working in stone and sold her first sculpture in 1965. She said that she really began to carve when she had children, to earn money to buy milk for them. 

Her works often deal with her memories of the TB wards and the south, as well as larger social concerns, particularly those that affect women. Oviloo also is one of the few Inuit artists to choose the nude as a subject. She is in the vanguard of younger artists whose work went beyond the traditional focus on the past. With themes ranging from alcohol abuse and rape to memories of her time in a southern TB clinic, Ovilu depicts a contemporary reality of Inuit women. 

Her work has been exhibited throughout Canada and the US as well as in Belgium, Sweden, Germany and France.Her work is part of many collections including those of the National Gallery of Canada and the prestigious Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg (Leningrad), Russia.


  • An Inuit Woman Challenges Tradition: Sculpture by Oviloo Tunnillie, Burdick Gallery
  • Arctic Ice: Sculptures in Marble by the Artists of Cape Dorset, Northwest Territories, Marion Scott Gallery
  • Arctic Vision: Art of the Canadian Inuit, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Canadian Arctic Producers
  • Art Inuit, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Art Inuit, Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai at Chapelle de la Visitation
  • Art Inuit: Autour de la Collection de Cape Dorset 1991, Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai at Le Colombier
  • Baffin Island Sculpture Exhibition, Baffin Regional School
  • Birds: Sculpture from Cape Dorset & Rock Ptarmigan Limited Edition Print by Kananginak, The Guild Shop
  • Building on Strengths: New Inuit Art from the Collection, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Cape Dorset Sculpture, McMaster Art Gallery
  • Cape Dorset Stone Sculpture: Masters & the Next Generation, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Cape Dorset: Recent Sculpture, Gallery of the Arctic
  • Debut - Cape Dorset Jewellery, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Fantasy and Stylization - Cape Dorset Sculpture, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Glaciopolis: Art Inuit, Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai at Maison de Pesey
  • Images of Influence: Contemporary Inuit Art, Surrey Art Gallery
  • Inspiration Four Decades of Sculpture, Marion Scott Gallery
  • Inuit Art: from the collection of Maurice Yacowar, Collector's Gallery
  • Inuit Sculpture, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Inuit Sculpture--New Acquisitions, Pucker Gallery
  • Inuitkonst fran Kanada - skulptor och grafik, Millesgarden
  • Isumavut:The Artistic Expression of Nine Cape Dorset Women, Canadian Museum of Civilization
  • Keeping Our Stories Alive: An Exhibition of the Art and Crafts from Dene and Inuit of Canada, Institute of American Indian Arts Museum
  • Kunst van de Inuit Eskimo's, Gemeentelijk Kunstcentrum Huis Hellemans
  • Major/Minor, Marion Scott Gallery
  • On the Land, The Arctic Circle
  • Opening Exhibition, Nunavut Fine Arts Limited
  • Oviloo Toonoo, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Oviloo Tunillie, Inuit Galerie
  • Oviloo Tunnillie, Marion Scott Gallery
  • Oviloo Tunnillie, Marion Scott Gallery
  • Sculpture and Graphics from Cape Dorset, Art Space Gallery
  • Sculpture by Women, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Sculpture Inuit et Retrospective Pudlo Pudlat, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Sculpture of the Inuit: Lorne Balshine Collection/Lou Osipov Collection/ Dr. Harry Winrob Collection, Surrey Art Gallery
  • Sedna: Spirit of the Sea, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Small Sculptures by Great Artists I, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Small Sculptures by Great Artists II, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Small Sculptures by Great Artists III, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Small Sculptures from across the Canadian Arctic, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Sunakutagnuvalautut: Things from the Past, Feheley Fine Arts
  • The Hand: Images in Inuit Sculpture, The Isaacs/Innuit Gallery
  • The Inuit Imagination, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • The Next Generation, Orca Aart Gallery
  • The Tunnillie Family of Cape Dorset, Albers Gallery
  • Women of the North: An Exhibition of art by Inuit Women of the Canadian Arctic, Marion Scott Gallery


  • Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa
  • Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec, Montreal
  • Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull
  • GE Canada Inuit Art Collection, Mississauga
  • Hermitage Museum, Leningrad
  • McMaster University Art Gallery, Hamilton
  • Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg


She was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 2003.



Title Last Sold At Auction
BATH TIME 2015-08 (August 2015)
BIRD 2012-04 (April 2012)
BIRD IN FLIGHT 2015-11 (November 2015)
BIRD ON BASE 2011-12 (December 2011)
BIRD TRANSFORMATION 2011-11 (November 2011)
CRYING WOMAN 2012-05 (May 2012)
DANCING WOMAN 2011-11 (November 2011)
FACE TRANSFORMATION 2011-10 (October 2011)
FALCON 2019-11 (November 2019)
FEMALE FIGURE 2011-11 (November 2011)
FEMALE FORMS 2011-11 (November 2011)
FEMALE TORSO 2020-09 (September 2020)
FEMALE TORSOS 2012-06 (June 2012)
FIGURE WITH DRAWING 2008-04 (April 2008)
HAND HOLDING PARCHMENT 2021-06 (June 2021)
HEAD 2012-05 (May 2012)
HEAD OF A BIRD 2012-02 (February 2012)
HEAD OF A MAN 2012-04 (April 2012)
IN THE SLEEPING BAG 2019-11 (November 2019)
INUK CARRYING A HEAVY LOAD 2008-11 (November 2008)
KNEELING WOMAN 2014-06 (June 2014)
LOON 2011-11 (November 2011)
MAN AND WOMAN WITH DOG 2010-11 (November 2010)
MOTHER AND CHILD 2012-02 (February 2012)
NUDE FEMALE 2007-11 (November 2007)
PERCHED BIRD 2012-05 (May 2012)
PERCHED FALCON 2016-08 (August 2016)
SEDNA 2015-11 (November 2015)
SITTING SEDNA 2011-11 (November 2011)
SOCCER PLAYER 2007-04 (April 2007)
TORSO 2022-09 (September 2022)
TRANSFORMATION 2018-01 (January 2018)
TWO SITTING TORSOS 2012-11 (November 2012)
TWO TORSOS 2013-07 (July 2013)
TWO WOMEN IN DISTRESS 2012-04 (April 2012)
WHITE FALCON 2011-11 (November 2011)
WOMAN 2012-05 (May 2012)
WOMAN COVERING HER FACE 2013-03 (March 2013)
WOMAN CRYING 2012-02 (February 2012)
WOMAN HOLDING A PARCEL 2012-05 (May 2012)
WOMAN PREPARING A SKIN 2015-06 (June 2015)
WOMAN WITH MASK 2020-01 (January 2020)
WOMAN WITH STICK 2011-11 (November 2011)
WOMAN WITH STONE OFFERING 2011-11 (November 2011)
“TOONOO WITH OVILU” 2012-05 (May 2012)

Recent Auction Results

Estimate: 600 — 900
Sold: Sep 2022 — Sold For: $1,080
Estimate: 500 — 700
Sold: Jun 2021 — Sold For: $1,440
Estimate: 2,000 — 3,000
Sold: Sep 2020 — Sold For: $1,800
Estimate: 1,500 — 2,500
Sold: Jun 2020 — Sold For: $2,280
Estimate: 700 — 1,000
Sold: Jan 2020 — Sold For: $1,920
Estimate: 3,000 — 5,000
Sold: Nov 2019 — Sold For: $2,400

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