Mary Anne Taylor Pokiak

Beaufort Delta
P.O.Box 2916
Inuvik, NT X0E 0T0

Artist Story

My dad, Bobby Taylor Pokiak, was a bone carver, so I grew up around carving in Tuktoyaktuk. I started carving small things like dolphins and rings, and just kept learning. I come from a family of eight children – five of us carve. We grew up watching our parents work hard to take care of us – my mother sewed our outdoor clothes such as mukluks and parkas and my dad did the fishing, hunting and carving.  

I am mainly a carver of soapstone, muskox antlers and caribou antlers but also make jewelry from muskox and caribou horn. For years, bears used to be my favourite thing to carve. I love polar bears – they’re so unique-looking and so beautiful. Now I love to carve drum-dancing ladies. The ladies I see gathered at the community dances inspire these happy and joyful scenes.

Another one of my favourite pieces to make is a lady sitting down and sewing. She’ll be holding needle and thread, with one little mukluk done and another half-done. It reminds me of my mother, staying up late into the morning sewing. I call the series of these “endless nights.” For my dad, I have a series of fishermen. These are the stories I am inspired to tell in my artwork.

Artist Bio: 

Mary-Anne was born in Tuktoyaktuk and began carving nine years ago, learning from her father and brothers. She has exhibited her work locally and at previous festivals. She finds satisfaction in bringing a piece to completion and is always surprised and pleased when she sees it on display - "it looks different".Aside from carving, Mary-Anne also enjoys sewing.

Last Updated: January 23, 2020

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