Annie Pootoogook comes from a long line of artists in Cape Dorset (known today as Kinngait) and began drawing in 1997.

Within a decade, Pootoogook became the catalyst for an explosion of creativity originating from Kinngait Studios. Her drawings challenged conventional expectations of ‘Inuit’ graphic art. An instinctive chronicler of her generation, Pootoogook created works peppered with images of daily life: from feasting, camping and hunting to current events seen on television, intimate personal eroticism as well as alcoholism and domestic violence. Her immediate success drew the attention of a broad cross-section of art collectors and signalled to artist colleagues in the North that there were no limits on subject matter and scale.

Annie Pootoogook’s drawings at Tate Liverpool served as a diary of the artist’s life and were indicative of the sulijuk (‘true’ or ‘real’) tradition. Pootoogook worked with a singular clarity of vision, often depicting poignant moments of emotion or violence in intimate domestic environments. Immediate and direct in style, her drawings chronicle the everyday events of modern Inuit life in the small community of Kinngait as she saw it. Her realism is at odds with the traditional outdoor scenes that people have come to expect from Inuit art.

Dr Nancy Campbell, co-curator of Annie Pootoogook’s display at Tate Liverpool, selected a series of 15 drawings that served as a diary of the artist’s life.

Exhibitions include McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Canada (2017); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2013); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, USA (2012–13); National Gallery of Canada, Ontario, Canada (2009–10); documenta 12, Kassel, Germany (2007); and The Power Plant, Ontario, Canada (2006).

Annie Pootoogook at Liverpool Biennial 2018

Composition: Women Gathering Whale Meat, 2003–2004
Eating Seal at Home, 2001
Bringing Home Food, 2003–2004
Family Taking Supplies, Home, 2006
Memory of My Life: Breaking Bottles, 2001–2002
Composition (Family Portrait), 2005–2006
Myself in Scotland, 2005-2006
Pitseolak Drawing with Two Girls on Her Bed, 2006
Composition: Drawing of My Grandmother’s Glasses, 2007
Holding Boots, 2004
(35/36) Red Bra, 2006
Man Abusing His Partner, 2002
Composition: Watching Porn on Television, 2005
Gold Star TV, 2003–2004
Dr. Phil, 2006
Coloured pencil and ink on paper/felt-tip pen over graphite on paper/paint stick on paper
Exhibited at Tate Liverpool


Supported by Canada Council for the Arts