John Kavik | The Canadian Encyclopedia


John Kavik

John Kavik, sculptor and potter (b in Gjoa Haven, NWT 1897; d at Yellowknife, NWT March 1993 ).
Spirit Carving
Whale Vertebrae by John Kavik, Rankin Inlet (University of Lethbridge Art Collection).
Kavik, John
Inuit artist John Kavik of Rankin Inlet (photo by David Zimmerly/courtesy DIAND).

Having moved inland to hunt in the Barren Lands, he almost died during "the great starvation" of the 1950s. He eventually moved via Baker Lake to Rankin Inlet, where he took up carving in the early 1960s, as well as working in clay in 1964. Like the work of his great friend John Tiktak, Kavik's work is primary and stark, but is also filled with narrative content. This is particularly evident in his totally original pots, which are covered with 3-dimensional protruding figures full of humour and folklore.

See also Inuit Art.