Annie Pootoogook

Annie Pootoogook’s detailed work describes everyday life in her home community of Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Her scenes of Inuit traditions include the less romantic but real integration of modern technologies such as video games and televisions as well as domestic abuse and tragedy. Her method, carefully outlined shapes in black filled with blocks of solid color, recalls traditional Inuit drawing while the subject matter reflects the unvarnished viewpoint of her generation.

Other drawings are more personal and abstract, illustrating an emotional landscape of mental anguish, such as “Sadness and Relief for My Brother,” and the austere but compelling, still life of the artist’s prescription- medicine bottle, cup and a single dangling key in “Composition (Annie’s Tylenol).” Cheerful domestic scenes such as a family opening Christmas presents (“Christmas”) are depicted with the same precision and calm attention to detail as the emotion-laden composition “Memory of My Life: Breaking Bottles.” From boingboing

Pootoogook’s body was found in the Rideau River in Ottawa in September – and the cause of her death is not known.


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“She was drawing out of personal experience, but also out of shared cultural experience,” said Heather Igloliorte, Concordia University Research Chair in Indigenous Art History. That had been a feature of her mother and grandmother’s art too, said Ms. Igloliorte, but Inuit life had changed, and Ms. Pootoogook had been born into a new reality.

“I didn’t see any igloos in my life,” the artist says in the documentary. “Only Skidoo, Honda, the house, things inside the house.”


Annie Pootoogook Memory of My Life: Breaking Bottles (2002) 20 x 26 inches Ink and pencil crayon on paper
Annie Pootoogook In The Summer Camp Tent (2002) 20 x 26 inches Pencil, ink, and pencil crayon on paper
Pootoogook, Annie Untitled (Plucking Gray Hairs) 2004 47.8 x 66.3 cm coloured pencil and black felt pen on cream wove paper
Annie Pootoogook Eating Seal Meat, 2007 Coloured pencil on paper

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Dr. Phil, Annie Pootoogook. coloured pencil and black felt pen on cream wove paper

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