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Judas Ullulaq (Allulak)
canadian, inuit
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Thom Bay
Death Date: 
Judas was one of the most respected of all Inuit carvers. Inspired by his older brother Charlie Ugyuk's carving, Judas went on to create some of the most challenging and creative sculpture to come out of the arctic. His ever-present smile was often translated into his intricately detailed sculptures of people, shamanic characters from local legends and various animals. Inlaid bone and antler features accent his sometimes humorous, sometimes horrific, but always interesting carvings made with the whalebone and the dark pyroxine stone found near Gjoa Haven. Working hard to support his children and a large extended family, Judas was very prolific, but never sacrificed detail in developing his unique style. His work is represented in major public and private collections of Inuit art throughout the world. Judas Ullulaq was born in the area of Thom Bay, northeast of Taloyoak. He lived at outpost camps with his family until the late 1960s, when he settled in Taloyoak so his children could attend school. At the outset Ullulaq carved ivory miniatures, but his sculptures have increased dramatically in size over the years. He sculpts primarily in stone, using mixed-media accents such as ivory, antler, bone, sinew, and musk-ox horn. Distorted, wide-eyed, open-mouthed faces, and exaggerated gestures and body movements give his work a strong expressive and emotional presence. Ullulaq's style and subject matter are greatly influenced by the work of his nephew, Karoo Ashevak; his focus is on spirits and the supernatural, themes for which the Kitikmeot region has come to be recognized.