Naomi Ityi

Naomi Ityi is a textile artist from Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), NU that is known as one of the earliest creators of wall hangings in the North [1].  Ityi was one of the first women in Qamani’tuaq to create small pictures from wool scraps left over from clothing projects [2]. In 1971 the Baker Lake Sewing Shop was established and these wall hangings became recognized as works of art.

Ityi uses a variety of different stitching types in her works that give gradients of texture to her figures. She uses blanket stitches to create rows on animals; v-shaped herringbone stitches to act as scales on a fish; and satin and chain stitches create bursts of texture on other creatures [3]. In her featured work Untitled (1973), this unique stitching technique of Ityi is evident in the colourful animals that pop off the fabric in a variety of colours and seem in motion surrounding the human figures. Not only are they made more lifelike with the stitching techniques, but they also create unique colour and design choices on the wall hanging.

Ityi’s pieces have been showcased in many exhibitions across Canada and the US. She has works in major collections including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, ON, the Winnipeg Art Gallery in Winnipeg, MB, and the Art Gallery of Guelph in Guelph, ON.



Citations/Footnotes

  1. Winnipeg Art Gallery, “Naomi Ityi”, accessed February 6, 2019 from https://www.wag.ca/art/collections/inuit-art/display,collection/60154
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid.