Lot 114
JOE TALIRUNILI (1893-1976), E9-818, Povungnituk

JOE’S ESCAPE, stone, wood, c. 1970, signed in Roman,
4.49" x 7.52" x 2.52"
11.40 x 19.10 x 6.40 cm

Est. $20000/30000
Realised: Please contact us for the value of this item
Auction Date: 11/16/2015

Provenance: Collection of a prominent American collector and dealer, CT.

Literature: Joe Talirunili, Joe Talirunili: A Grace Beyond the Reach of Art, La Federation des cooperatives du Nouveau-Quebec, 1977, pg. 40

Note: This work represents an important piece of Joe Talirunili’s astonishing life story as well as an integral part of his body of work. This unusually expressive little piece is a snapshot in time, much like his famous Migration series. What makes this so special is that Joe had not just one brush with death while traveling by umiak in his lifetime. This boat occupied by Joe and his son was constructed from the wreckage of their boat when it hit a reef. The story depicted here is best described by Joe himself in the following excerpt: “This sculpture shows how the boat was made, the keg being behind me, Joe, and my son Joshua sitting in the wash tub while the kettle buoyed up the front of our boat. Because of this boat five people were saved though four were lost. Though I grieved for the four that died during their attempts to swim from the reef to the island, some of us who were on that wreck are still alive, though some have died since of sickness. Davidialuk, who had swum to the island, and me, Joe, who constructed the boat, are the only two old people who survived that accident.” The survivors who swam to the island from the reef were picked up once Joe and Joshua reached Kugaluk in their makeshift boat and alerted the Hudson’s Bay Company outpost in Povungnituk. For a similar piece, see: Sculpture of the Eskimo, ed. 3 George Swinton, McClelland & Stewart, Toronto, ON, 1972, pg. 170, pl. 361

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