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A courageous, passionate woman, Ulaayu Pilurtuut lives in the heart of the Far North, where she was born in 1964
A courageous, passionate woman, Ulaayu Pilurtuut lives in the heart of the Far North, where she was born in 1964. As melting ice threatens the survival of traditional life in Inuit communities, Ulaayu knows that ancestral hunting, which her people once depended on for their livelihood, is doomed. But Ulaayu wants to help safeguard her culture among young people, so they will remain close to their roots and identity.
An ambassador of ancestral culture and committed to action, she teaches Inuktut, the language of her people, and works to invent new ways of adapting to the modern world through artistic expression. Ulaayu’s interest in art began early, making her first drawings at the tender age of nine years old.
Her parents, artists themselves, were a true inspiration: her father sculpted soapstone and her mother sewed and made stone engravings. Ulaayu’s work depicts culture, the Inuit way of life and nature. In her drawings she generally uses black pigment and a touch of colour to make certain aspects stand out. She also sometimes uses acrylic and makes oil and glass paintings and stencils. A well-known presence in Inuit communities, the 11 Nations Exhibit enabled her to become better known by the public and in contemporary art circles in Montreal and internationally. This is how she was selected by the Royal Canadian Mint to create a collector's coin in 2013, which was unveiled on May 27th, 2013 at the Marriott SpringHill Suites.
Fine Silver Coin - Mother and Baby Ice Fishing (2013)