Peter Aliknak (Banksland)
Baillie Island, Northwest Territories, 1928 – Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories 1998Active in Ulukhaktok
45.7 x 52 x 8.5 cm
Gift of Katherine and Ronald Cook, inv. 2011.282
Peter Aliknak Banksland (better known as Peter Aliknak) was a member of the Holman Eskimo Co-operative since its very beginnings in 1961. He and his fellow artists made the switch from sealskin stencils, which had proved too difficult to work with, to block printing. The production of stonecut prints in Holman (now Ulukhaktok) differed from that in other Inuit communities. Rather than tracing lines onto the stone block, the artists would cut directly though the drawing, damaging the original image in the process. This technique resulted in the unique “negative” silhouette appearance in Holman prints, which emphasize solid blocks of colour rather than simple outlines. The lines that originally delineated the image appear as blank in the print.
Stonecut prints were the medium of choice during the early days of the Co-operative, and it was a medium that Aliknak took great interest in, cutting many of his stone blocks himself. Aliknak’s direct involvement in the printmaking process ceased after 1977, around the time the Holman Co-operative moved away from the stonecut technique and placed a greater emphasis on lithography, stencilling and woodcut.