Atira Taalrumiq (My name is Taalrumiq). I work with traditional Inuvialuit design elements and organic materials like sealskin, fur, hide, feathers and antler in combination with modern materials like sequins, beads and metallic leather, to create contemporary Inuit adornment such as jewelry, garments and fine art pieces. Each piece I make is created with the utmost love, care, quality and attention to detail as if I was sewing for my own family.
I feel fortunate to live in a time where I can carry the traditions of my family using my skills not only for survival, but as a form of artistic expression and storytelling. My culture, childhood memories of working on whale or fishing with my mom, the ice, the ocean, animals, midnight sun, the Pingo landscape, our Elders, Ancestors, our drum beats, songs, dances and clothing all inspire me. There is so much beauty to behold that the possibilities to create are endless!
From my earliest memories, I have been interested in everything creative. I come from a long line of talented Inuit women who were expert seamstresses. Growing up, my siblings, cousins and I frequently spent time in our Anaanak’s (Grandmother’s) sewing room, where the scent of fur and hides was familiar and comforting. My mom was always sewing. When I was 4, she made me my very own sewing kit out of a Pilot Biscuit box filled with needles, thread, and fabric. I was so proud to have my very own sewing kit!
Later on, I learned more technical sewing skills at the University of Alberta, where I earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology and a Bachelor of Education, majoring in Home Economics and minoring in Art. My plan was to teach afterwards, but I decided to focus on my young family of five. During that time, I sewed for my children, maintaining my skills and practicing new designs. In 2019, I began sharing my work on social media. I’m now happily growing my brand of Inuvialuit art and design: Taalrumiq.
There’s so much creative energy in me that I feel I have no other choice but to create! My biggest inspiration always remains Inuvialuit people: my family, Ancestors, Elders, and my community members. It’s important for me to share and preserve our stories of survival and resilience through my artwork. I hope to inspire young Inuvialuit and to help them feel empowered, capable, and confident as they move forward.
No matter where I am in the world, I am Inuvialuk. My artwork makes me feel connected to that truth. Creating, viewing, and appreciating art is a necessary part of who we are as Inuvialuit people. We lost so much of our culture, our language, and our identity due to colonization, so it’s important to create pieces that celebrate us, to remember where we come from, who we come from, and what we are capable of. Being able to use my skills as an artist to share our culture or to inspire others to reclaim their identity - I find that to be healing and necessary work. Quyanainni!