Leo Napayok


   Born in the early sixties, Leo Napayok spent most of his time growing up in the towns of Coral Harbor and Rankin Inlet. A devoted father, he and his wife have seven children. Leo's artistic upbringing began early on in his life. His father and mother were both artists, who managed to give Leo some of the foundation skills he has drawn on in his remarkable works as a carver in soapstone, ivory and antler. Leo has long been established as one of the most talented carvers ever to come out of the region. Leo came to ceramics recently, while participating in the TAW Workshops from '05-'07. He took to clay immediately, applying his own brand of creative discovery to the medium. Leo has superb drawing skills, which provide him with the tools necessary to visualize and bring his outstanding works into reality. Leo was the first artist ever to apply low-relief incising to these surfaces. His creative discoveries represent an entirely new direction.

  Working in collaboration with the other ceramists who prepare the vessel or sculptural shape, his extraordinary carvings cover and explore completely the surface of whatever shape he is working with. In stunning detail, we see images of traditional events which intermix with each other, blending like a tapestry, or a dream in which events melt into each other. Working in collaboration with John Kurok and Jack Nuviyak, his works have since become a part of the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada.



Video Interview

Leo Napayok on October, 2010 at The Matchbox Gallery, Rankin Inlet, Nunavut