Parr

About the Artist

Baffin IslandThe man known as Parr was an  InuitInuit means “the people” in Inukititut, the language of the people of northern Canada. Go to http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/pr/info/info114_e.html for further information.  artist born in 1893 on Baffin Island. Parr passed away in 1969 in the famous community of Cape Dorset, the hub of  InuitInuit means “the people” in Inukititut, the language of the people of northern Canada. Go to http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/pr/info/info114_e.html for further information.   sculptureA three-dimensional work of art, or the art of making it. Such works may be carved, modeled, constructed, or cast. Sculptures can also be described as assemblage, in the round, and relief, and made in a huge variety of media. A sculptor is one who creates sculptures. (artlex.com)  and  printmakingA print is a shape or mark made from a block or plate or other object that is covered with wet colour (usually ink) and then pressed onto a flat surface, such as paper or textile. Most prints can be produced over and over again by re-inking the printing block or plate. Printmaking can be done in many ways, including using an engraved block or stone, transfer paper, or a film negative. The making of fine prints is generally included in the graphic arts, while the work of artists whose designs are made to satisfy the needs of more commercial clients are included in graphic design. (Artlex.com)  in Northern Canada.

Parr was a hunter and lived as his people had for generations, existing nomadically without a fixed home. His move to and settlement in Cape Dorset was made necessary by a hunting accident, but Parr, at the age of 68, turned misfortune into an alternate career, as he began to make images. The  subjectA topic or idea represented in an art work.  of Parr’s work was the lifestyle he had maintained for well over half a century, and his awkwardness with his materials and tools make his images of hunting and fishing that much more compelling. Without the use of perspective, his people and animals all occupy the same (picture) plane of existence; without the use of colour, human and beast have the same  graphiteA soft black mineral substance, a form of carbon, available in powder, stick, and other forms. It has a metallic luster and a greasy feel. Compressed with fine clay, it is used in lead pencils (though contemporary lead pencils contain no lead), lubricants, paints, and coatings, among other products. Also called black lead and plumbago. (artlex.com)  skins, the same fuzzy grey texture; without the use of shading or a setting, his figures float together, living on their interactions with each other rather than with landscape or city. Thus is the  contentThe subject matter of a work of art and what it suggests about that subject matter. This includes the ways in which that work of art can be plausibly interpreted.  of Parr’s work made obvious through his handling of his media.

Since Parr’s death in 1969 at the age of 76, his images have been shown in significant exhibitions. An image of his work Hunters of Old was reproduced on a 1977 Canadian postage stamp, and some of the thousands of images he produced over his lifetime are in the collections of the MacKenzie Art Gallery and the Mendel Art Gallery.


Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning