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Untitled, c. 1976

Marion Tuu'luq
Canadian (Inuit), 1910 - 2002
felt, embroidery floss, and thread on duffle
122 x 103.5 cm
Gift of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, 1989
National Gallery of Canada (no. 36651)

According to Tuu'luq, the oft-repeated image of a human face has no particular meaning - it existed in her mind since before she started producing art - but it centralizes her compositions for the viewer in a spellbinding way. In many works, her figures spiral around a human face. When speaking about "Untitled", Tuu'luq told two stories: one of the sun woman and her brother, Aningnat, who was the man in the moon, and the other about a mermaid, Takanasalupsu, who inhabits the waters at Back River and possibly Baker Lake. "That fish swallows anything and cannot be caught. I've felt it before on my line. But I've heard that if someone catches it with a hook, that creature takes off the hook herself. She's an old lady-fish. I'm not the only one who felt that fish." Tuu'luq once expressed the wish that she could be a fish so her life would be lively and full of fun. If she were a fish, she said, she would tease the fishermen.

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