Killulark Arngna'naaq

North Slave

Artist Story

I started beading in 2013. I was looking at some incredible Inuit-made beadwork, and it motivated me to learn. I didn’t really do any beading or traditional crafts growing up, so I am mostly self-taught. There was a lot of guesswork at the beginning, but I’m glad I kept at it! My artistic friends have been very helpful in my learning process. I have spent many hours perfecting my necklaces and learning from my mistakes so I can say they are my strong suit today. I like every part of the process when I create, whether it’s working out the kinks or learning new techniques along the way.

I like to work with multiple techniques, depending on my mood. I often use brick stitch when I make beaded earrings, but I think it’s always nice to develop new skills. If I get excited by a new technique, I will dive fully into it until I figure out how it works. When I get an idea for a project in my head, I will apply everything that I have learned in order to create my art the way I have envisioned.

One of my favourite ways to spend a night is beading with my friends, coming up with colour combinations together and talking about collaborations. Otherwise, I get my inspiration from many different aspects of life. For example, I made a pair of earrings inspired by one of a Tribe Called Red’s album cover. I really liked the colours, so I decided to incorporate those along with the words “LAND BACK”, which turned out to be quite a statement piece.

When I bead, I feel connected to my culture. Sometimes I’ll work while listening to music or to an audio book, and I’ll reflect on how my Inuit Ancestors used to sit in an igloo, where they would sew and bead. They would keep their hands busy, and I wonder if it felt as nice and meditative back then as it feels for me now. That makes me feel good.

I’m also a really fidgety person and I can rarely sit still! When I was in school, it would be hard to pay attention to teachers or to concentrate on schoolwork. Having such a short attention span wasn’t very welcome back then, but it feels amazing to now be able to channel my energy into making something beautiful and meaningful.

Artist Bio: 

Killulark has been living in Yellowknife since she was a child. Originally from Baker Lake, Nunavut, Killulark uses her Inuit heritage to fuel her creativity. As a self-taught artist, she used to gift her jewelry to friends and family, and eventually decided to sell some of her pieces in the summer of 2020. Killulark is currently working on expanding her sewing skills by making seal skin and fox fur mitts, boxer style. Unafraid to face the challenges that arise when learning new skills, she plans to continue creating in any way possible, while remaining anchored to her culture.

Last Updated: March 4, 2021

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