Annie Pootoogook

1969 – 2016

An artist, Annie Pootoogook lived for several years in Sandy Hill.

Annie Pootoogook was born in Cape Dorset, Nunavut in an extraordinary artistic family. Her father, Eegyvadluk, was a talented carver and one of the first stonecut printmakers in the studios in Cape Dorset. Her mother, Napachie and grandmother, Pitseolak Ashoona, were two of the most prolific and highly respected Inuit graphic artists of their respective generations.

Annie’s drawings reflected her experience as a contemporary female artist living and working in the changing milieu of Canada’s far north. Although firmly rooted to the specifics of her time and place, she managed to transcend cultural boundaries and present the details of her everyday life in an engaging way, inviting the viewer into both her public and private worlds. From the apparently mundane (the line-up for the ATM machine at the Co-op store, watching television with her family) to the personal and intimate (her experience with spousal abuse, the loss of her mother) Annie expressed a wide range of content and emotions.

Annie’s work has been shown in several public galleries in Canada and around the world. She spent the summer of 2006 in Scotland where she was artist-in-residence at the Glenfiddich Distillery “Spirit off Creativity” program. Following a solo show at the Power Plant gallery in Toronto, she went on to win the Sobey Arts Award and to exhibit at the Basel Art Fair and Documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany. Her drawings are in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Toronto and several other institutions.

Annie passed away under mysterious and unresolved circumstances. Her death was part of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Annie moved to Sandy Hill in 2002. In 2021, the park behind the community centre on Somerset St. E. was dedicated in her name.

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