Elisapee Ishulutaq records the intimate details of everyday life as she has lived it. Her use of multiple perspectives, employing frontal, profile, and bird’s eye view in the same image, is also characteristic, and these unexpected shifts add interest and liveliness to her detailed scenes. One of the first artists to embrace the use of oil sticks, Ishulutaq was commissioned by the WAG in 2014 to create this mural that reveals the scope and innovation of her work.
Ishulutaq lived a traditional camp life on the land until 1970 when she and her family moved into the community of Pangnirtung. Her involvement with the arts began in 1970-71 when she participated in an experimental print workshop. In 1973, she was one of the first artists to have designs in the inaugural annual Pangnirtung print collection. She has since created hundreds of drawings, many of which have been used as designs for tapestries created in the Pangnirtung (now Uqqurmiut) Tapestry Studio. In 2012 she created a triptych of three large sugar-lift etchings that were acquired by the WAG and included in this display. In 2014, Ishulutaq was named a Member of the Order of Canada “for her progressive artwork and for her contributions to the cultural and economic health of her community as role model and mentor.” At age 90, Ishulutaq is still an energetic individual and a vital artistic force in her community.