the Owls of Joanasie Manning

Joanasie Manning is a carver from an artistic family, born in Kinngait, NU, where he continues to reside. Manning is inspired by the work of his grandfather, Osuitok Ipeelee (1922-2005), RCA, who also taught him to carve ; Manning’s mother is textile and jewellery artist Annie Manning (1943-).  

Manning works with a combination of hand and power tools, primarily in local serpentine stone and antler. His approach to the stone takes into account its striations, an effect for texture and plumage for his work. An artist by occupation since 1987, Manning has been developing his owl series, carved in small groupings, with hatchlings or owls joyously balancing on one foot. Manning’s style is characterized by angular forms, and his owls have wide, luminous eyes of inset bone that gaze every direction. Manning’s consideration of positive and negative space works together with the physical and visual weight of stone. His depictions of owls and hatchlings gathered together juxtaposes the physical weight of stone with the idea of real birds and the impression of lightness.