Kingwatiak Jaw

Born at Kiattuuq, about five miles west of Cape Dorset, King has lived most of his life in Cape Dorset. He spent two years in Iqaluit for high school and over two years working in the Nanisivik mines, where he apprenticed to become an industrial mechanic. King is seasonally employed as a certified carpenter for the Nunavut Construction Corporation. Carving is another way that King supplements his income to raise his family of four children.

King began carving at the age of nine but was more committed to his education and subsequent jobs before he took up carving on regular bases in 1995. Since then he has been carving once or twice a week. “I like to carve but sometimes I have to carve to support my family – it’s not only for pleasure.” King’s mother, Mialia Jaw, used to carve but King learned most about carving from watching his older brother, Pootoogook Jaw. K

ing’s oldest brother Mathew Saviarjuk is also a sculptor in Cape Dorset. Having experimented with different types of stone, King prefers to carve black marble. His works are often naturalistic scenes that have a base or “landscape.” Not wanting to “take away too much” stone, King carves a variety of subject matter including bears, drum dancers and whales. “I like to create a realistic image – realistic animals. If it’s a bear, I want to show it doing what bears do, like prowling on a seal, or walking on four legs. I’ve never seen a dancing bear.”


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