Past Project

Nunavut Agreement Monument

Looty Pijamini

Looty PijaminiLooty Pijamini was born November 14, 1953 in Clyde River on Baffin Island.  He began carving stone at the age of twelve.  By the time he was fifteen he was carving full time.  Later in the 1980’s, he worked with ivory and sold his work to private collectors.  In the early 1990’s, as well as continuing his work with the stone and ivory, he began working with precious metals.  He enrolled in Kewellery and Metalwork Program at the Nunavut Arctic College in Iqaluit.  The course ran from 1991 to 1993, at which time he graduated with a diploma in jewellery and with the three prestigious awards.  Looty won the Grand Award in the Easter Arctic Fine Arts and Crafts Competition in 1994 as well as two other awards in that competition.  The artists taking part came from many places besides the Eastern Arctic including Labrador, Quebec, Greenland, and the Western Arctic.

The following year the competition was held again and Looty won first prize.  Then in 1996, he took first prize in the eighth year of the Great Northern Arts Festival in Inuvik, NWT.  He was competing with about 70 artists from Skagway, Alaska to Grise fiord, NT.  He also attends regularly the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Festivals in Nunavut.

He does a great deal of art that is commissioned by private collectors from various parts of the world.  His artwork is found in collections in Greece, Mexico, United States, and Canada.

Looty gains his inspiration for his work mainly from the shape of the stone — its shape somehow suggests a subject or idea to him.  Sometimes he starts carving with no idea in mind but as he carves a shape emerges.  He also usus traditional legends for his work.  One major piece, Sedna and her Friend, evolved over a long time thiking about the legend.  Because the subject matter of Sedna and the whale is very popular he has carved many pieces.  His recent work is a very personal interpretation of the legend but on a grandiose scale.  It is a very beautiful ad grand presentation yet very intimate at the same time. He has set figures amidst carivou atlers in order to give the illusion of swimming through water and seaweed.  Sedna is accompanied by  her friends she has made in the sea – a whale and her baby who are her “dogs”,  a seal who is her scout, the walrus who is her body guard and then there is a dish who accompanies her.

Mr. Pijamini lives in Grise Fiord with his wife, five children, and two grandsons.  As time passes it is his intent to have his fiber glass Inuit sled qammitiq business established so that he can carve somewhat less than he carves now.  Supporting himself through carving does not allow him much free time.