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Inuk artist Annie Pootoogook found dead in Ottawa’s Rideau River


Inuk artist Annie Pootoogook, of Cape Dorset, Nunavut, is seen here in a still from a 2005 documentary. She was found dead on Sept. 19 in Ottawa.]

Prominent Inuk artist Annie Pootoogook has been identified as the woman whose body was found in Ottawa’s Rideau River earlier this week.

Officials with the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative in her hometown, Cape Dorset, Nunavut, confirmed the death of the chalk-and-ink artist, who rose to prominence when she won the Sobey Award in 2006.

Pootoogook, 47, had been living in Ottawa.

Her drawings offered a contemporary take on her culture, where old customs intermingled with modern technology and goods.

Her work is part of the collections at the National Gallery of Canada and the Ontario Gallery of Art and was recently part of an exhibition on Indigenous pop art at Ottawa’s Saw Gallery.

“Her inclusion in the exhibition was a no-brainer, in that she looked at contemporary life in a way no other artist had ever done,” said Saw Gallery curator Jason St-Laurent, who first met Pootoogook five years ago.


Fine Liner Eyebrow one of Pootoogook’s drawings on display at the National Gallery of Canada.]

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