Syllabic Translator

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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Pauta Saila, R.C.A., ᐸᐊ ᓯᓪ


PAUTA SAILA (1916-2009), E7-990, CAPE DORSET

stone, ivory, c. 1975, signed in syllabics and Roman

17.5" x 13.5" x 8.5" — 44.5 x 34.3 x 21.6 cm.

Images Art Gallery, Toronto, ON,
Private collection, Mississauga, ON

Perhaps what is most notable about this work is its sheer mass. Standing on two legs, and with its head turned completely to the right this bear is almost regal if not quietly powerful. Pauta discusses his art in the following interview:
“I like the idea of this exhibition on animal images and am interested in it. I carve all kinds of animals, particularly polar bears, in order to support my family. Qallunaat like my carvings.
I carve bears with longer and shorter necks, some that are fat or lean. They are in different positions because bears are always doing something. Sudden moves are possible with shorter necks. Polar bears are like human beings. If they are not distracted they can see better, even when they move fast.
I am sure that the older hunter Niviaqsi (a well known Cape Dorset artist who died while polar bear hunting) had a heart attack. When men are out hunting they get excited and their hearts beat faster when they see what they desire.
I like to carve what I feel, not merely what I see. It is the feeling that goes along with whatever one is doing. I also think about the material, the stone. I like to think how to carve it so that it does not break. I do what the Creator wants me to do, not merely by seeing but by feeling too.
Carving is very different from making a photograph. I think and feel that the bear has a spirit to be put into the carving. But each person has different thoughts when he is carving.
Today I am not worrying about making an amulet or a charm. I have to be pleased with what I am doing as does the person who is asking for the carving. I have to please myself and the buyer.
At times I feel like keeping some of my carvings. In fact I have even said good-bye to some.”

Bernadette Driscoll, Uumajut, Animal Imagery in Inuit Art, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1985, pg. 46

Estimate: $35,000—40,000

Auction Results

Auction Date Auction House Lot # Low Est High Est Sold Price
2015-06-01 Waddington's 133 35,000 40,000 43,200.00

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