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Birds Make Me Happy

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Kenojuak Ashevak, CC (1927-2013) was a Canadian artist. She is internationally renowned for her tremendous accomplishments and contributions to Inuit art. Her simple compositions, bold lines and strong colours define the classic drawing Cape Dorset style. Kenojuak focuses on the process and aesthetics of drawing more than on the specifics of Inuit life and her memories. Her work is characterized by a central element—often an animal, bird, fish or human—positioned on the paper without the context of landscape or narrative devices. The most well-known example of this is The Enchanted Owl, 1960, a captivating image of an owl with radiating plumage. Considered one of her masterpieces, this work exemplifies Kenojuak's vivid imagination and intense vision. She designed several drawings for Canadian stamps and coins, and in 2004 she created the first Inuit-designed stained-glass window for the John Bell Chapel in Oakville, Ontario. In 2017, the $10 bill released in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday features Kenojuak’s stone-cut and stencil printed work called Owl’s Bouquet in silver holographic foil.

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