Joanassie Jakusi Ittukalla was born in 1949 south of Puvirnituq, Quebec. Encouraged by his father Aisa Avialiajuk Itukalla and his uncle, Levi Qumaluk, both professional sculptors, Jack began sculpting at 12 years old. In addition to his younger brother Peter Qumaluk Itukalla (1954-), Jack is related to the famous family of sculptors that includes Joe Talirunili (1893 or 1906-1976) and Davidialuk Alasua Amittu (1910-1976). Joanassie developed a particular, personal style that allowed him to create sculptures based on arctic fauna, ancient legends and Inuit folklore. The central themes of his work included legacy, the rules of survival in the wild and the relationship between men and animals. The artist eloquently transmits the strength of Inuit culture and the links that connect them all to living beings. Joanassie has often shown his sculptures in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal as well as on the international stage. Jack Itukalla appeared in the documentary Inukshuk, produced in 1985, and is filmed creating a sculpture. In 2013, he and his brother Peter Qumaluk Itukalla, along with the British sculptor Mark Coreth and the Quebecois sculptor Stéphane Robert, collaborated to construct Ours de glace, an ephemeral piece of art created as a reaction to the issue of global warming.
Jaakusi Juanasi Arqapakattak Ittukallak , sans titre, 1969. Pierre, stéatite, 19 x 25,5 x 15 cm. Collection d’art inuit du Nunavik. Photo © Institut culturel Avataq.