Qavavau Manumie

 “I like to draw animals, and images of people, sometimes combined.  I enjoy the animals and the land, and I take what I see there to my drawings.”

A rarity in that he is both a graphic artist and printmaker, Qavavau Manumie has been involved with the Kinngait Studios since 1988. Currently he works in both the lithography and stone cut studios. 

Manumie was born in Brandon Manitoba in 1958; it was there that his mother was hospitalized for the treatment of tuberculosis. As a young child he moved to Cape Dorset, and has resided there ever since.  

Manumie’s work has been described as fluctuating between two extremes; highly narrative and abstract. In the drawing Red Fox, 2007 a seated fox smokes a pipe while resting during travel.  The image references the belief in a time when humans and animals could interchange form or take on each others’ behavior. While fantastical in concept, the image is naturalistically rendered and contains real information about travelling on foot in the arctic.

The drawing of a large embellished eye Untitled  2011, is arranged in one of Manumie  characteristic ‘star-burst’ compositions.  The image is built up in layers, alternating between highly active areas filled with multiple and miniscule details such as bird figures, star-shapes, fronds, and feathers, and, in startling contrast, open spaces of blank paper.  Evident in this work are Manumie’s characteristic crisp lines and a subtle, even application of colour.