Germaine Arnaktauyok

"I never questioned being an artist."

Germaine Arnaktauyok is renowned for her talents as an illustrator and master print maker. The daughter of carvers Therese Nattok and Isidore Lytok, she started to draw on any material available while still a young girl in Igloolik. When she was sent to a residential school at Chesterfield Inlet at the age of nine, she met a nun who gave her art lessons. Germine sold her first painting at the age of 11.

Germaine has studied Fine Arts at the University of Manitoba and Commercial Art at Algonquin College in Ottawa. Germaine developed her print making style at the Arctic College and Arts Induvik Canada. Germaine Arnaktauyok has illustrated several children's books and her work is featured in children's books from the Baffin Divisional Board of Education.

The ideas for Germaine's work stem from traditional Inuit legends and from living and witnessing the unique lifestyle of her people. Her unique, paradoxical character parallels her creative sensibilities: she is a simple woman, yet sophisticated; proud, yet modest; contemporary urban yet traditionally rural. As for subject matter, Germaine is particularly interested in female entities and concerns - the sea goddess Sedna, creation and birth - which are expressed in very personal ways that humanize the subject.

Germaine's image on an Inuit drum dancer now appears on the 2000 edition of the Canadian $2 coin.