Tivi Etok - Compagnon des arts et des lettres du Québec
“Our elders told us that our future would be hard, and that life would be more difficult.” Their prediction came true for Inuit artist Tivi Etok. Shaped by a hard battle for physical and cultural survival, his body of work illustrates the traditional way of life of his people and its many transformations. It also contains threads of unique humour, asserting the freedom of an artist who sees the world in a different way based on his observations.
The little boy who drew on the wet sand with pieces of wood became a pioneer in stonecut printing. An unrivalled illustrator and storyteller, Tivi Etok is a living treasure, an elder who hands down ancestral knowledge and a source of pride. His drawings are accompanied by long texts that shine a light on a culture under threat of disappearing, which he depicts and preserves for future generations. His artwork is the subject of a first monograph devoted to the Inuit artist and is part of prestigious museum collections around the world.
Through his talent, work, and determination, Tivi Etok has contributed to the recognition of a people for whom art is memory. Relating his journey, his hopes, and his experiences, his work is imbued with the spiritual places that cradled and buffeted him, between the Tuurngait mountains and the Navvaaq Fjord. These places are teeming with supernatural creatures that have taken the shape of his dreams and whisper in his ear what people of the South call legends, because they don’t realize that life has more imagination than we do.
About the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec
The Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec is a distinction bestowed by CALQ honouring those individuals who have played a prominent role in Québec's artistic development.
The CALQ would like to thanks its partners, the Caisse de la Culture and the newspaper Le Devoir.