“In the artwork Composition (Plucking the Grey Hair) by Annie Pootoogook, a man sprawls over the crossed legs of a woman as she plucks his grey hairs with tweezers. This work, along with many of Pootoogook’s pieces, captures a snapshot of Inuit life. I feel an undeniable connection to the tenderness of this pencil drawing; the situation is mundane, yet the love is evident. My mother once told me a story about her experience as a new Chinese Canadian immigrant. While raising me and my brother, she would drop me off at home, and rush my brother to swim practice, cutting broccoli at the pool to prepare dinner. In this simple action, my mother illustrates the dedication and love she put into raising me and my brother. Similarly to how Pootoogook demonstrates the tender mundanity of plucking grey hairs, I wanted to feature the compassionate normality of my mother cutting broccoli florets.”
—Jamie Li (Grade 11, Pierre Elliott Trudeau High School, Markham, Ontario)
In 2006, Annie Pootoogook (1969–2016) became the first Inuk artist to win the prestigious Sobey Art Award. Known for her drawings depicting scenes of everyday life in the North, Pootoogook is unmatched in her ability to render personal experiences with stark honesty and thoughtfulness.