Eleeshushe Parr

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Eleeshushe Parr
BornJune 9, 1896
DiedFebruary, 1975
Known forPrint, drawing, textile, and sculpture


Eleeshushe Parr (Elishusee/Ilisusi/Elishushi/Elishusee/Elisusi/Illishushi/Parr Parr) (June 9, 1896 – February, 1975) was an Inuit graphic artist and sculptor, from the Kingnait community, who produced over 1160 drawings.[1][2][3] Her work has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, and Sweden.[1]


Eleeshushe and her husband, the sculptor and printmaker Parr (1893-1969), lived a traditional nomadic lifestyle with their nine children, both biological and adopted.[1][3][4] The couple settled in Cape Dorset, Nunavut, Canada  in 1961, after her aging spouse suffered declining health and fell victim to frostbite, resulting in partial amputation of his right foot.[4] Eleeshushe’s children Nuna (b. 1949), Eepervik, and Quvianatuliak Parr (b. 1930) are also artists in Cape Dorset.[1] Parr’s grandson, Peter Parr (b. 1970), is also an artist.[1]

Artistic career[edit]

Eleeshushe began drawing during the formative years of Cape Dorset’s printmaking.[5] She maintained a prolific output, leaving over 1000 prints in the archives of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative.[1] Her drawings were included in the annual Cape Dorset Graphics Collection from 1966 to 1969.[1] In 1970, the WBEC changed the name of its annual ‘graphics’ collection to ‘print’ collection.[6] This 83 print collection, the 11th, was the last collection for Eleeshushe Parr.[6] The collection opened on October 31 at 50 galleries, with the official opening was at the Quest in Victoria, British Columbia.[6] Eleeshushe also occasionally made carvings, and was recognized by her community for her designs and her ability to sew traditional skin garments with inset patterns.[5][7]

Prints, such as "Boy Playing With Dogs" (1966), demonstrate Eleeshushe’s typical depictions of animals, Inuit people and elements of life in Northern Canada.[8] In this specific work, a young Inuit boy plays with dogs, simulating a hunting scene where the dogs represent game and the boy is about to harpoon.[8] The imitation of hunters is an important element in the education of boys.[8] The stencilled drawing has soft shapes of little detail except for the boy's and animal’s eyes, mouth and nose.[8]



  • Winnipeg Art Gallery[1]
  • Art Gallery of Ontario[1]
  • McMichael Canadian Collection[1]
  • Cape Dorset Print Collection[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Canadian Women Artists History Initiative : Artist Database : Artists : PARR, Eleeshushe". cwahi.concordia.ca. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  2. ^ Quintieri, Marcel and Lori Cutler (1996). Biographies of Inuit Artists. Ottawa: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. p. 51.
  3. ^ a b "Katilvik - Home". www.katilvik.com. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  4. ^ a b Crandall, Richard C.; Crandall, Susan M. (2007-08-01). An Annotated Bibliography of Inuit Art. McFarland. ISBN 9781476607436.
  5. ^ a b Blodgett, Jean (1983). Grasp Tight the Old Ways: Selections from the Klamer Family Collection of Inuit Art. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario. p. 79.
  6. ^ a b c Crandall, Richard C. (2000). Inuit Art: A History. McFarland and Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 186.
  7. ^ Gustavison Blodgett, Jean and Susan (1993). Strange Scenes: Early Cape Dorset Drawings, First Edition. McMichael Gallery.
  8. ^ a b c d inuitartzone.com. "Events". inuitartzone.com. Retrieved 2018-03-10.
  9. ^ 1945-, Blodgett, Jean, (1993). Strange scenes : early Cape Dorset drawings. Gustavison, Susan J. (Susan Joan), 1945-, McMichael Canadian Art Collection. [Kleinburg, Ont.]: McMichael Canadian Art Collection. ISBN 0777808382. OCLC 27851502.
  10. ^ 1945-, Blodgett, Jean, (1983). Grasp tight the old ways : selections from the Klamer family collection of Inuit art. Art Gallery of Ontario. Toronto, Ont.: Art Gallery of Ontario. ISBN 0919876927. OCLC 11316213.

Further reading[edit]

  • Duval, Paul and McMichael Canadian Collection. A Heritage of Canadian Art: The McMichael Collection. Toronto: Clarke, Irwin, 1976.
  • Blodgett, Jean, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and George and Joanne MacDonald Collection of Northwest Coast Art. In Cape Dorset we do it this Way: Three Decades of Inuit Printmaking. Kleinburg, Ontario: McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1991.

External links[edit]