Tanya Tagaq | Canadian Geographic

Loved painting Inuit throat singer and Polaris Winner Tanya Tagaq. You can see more of my process and a little interview about it on the magazine’s site. Thanks Art Director Javier Frutos! In the article, Tagaq had such a beautiful description of feeling at peace amongst the unique Hoodoo formations on Bylot Island, so I wanted to try and capture that magical and tranquil air and play with the light reflecting off the snow.

Tanya Tagaq - Canadian Geographic - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

“The hoodoos on Bylot Island, just across from Pond Inlet, are the most beautiful place I’ve ever been. My mother was born and raised in Pond Inlet, on the land, in igloos and sod houses. Our family was relocated by the Canadian government in the 1950s. That was a very difficult thing for everyone. So Pond Inlet is our uninterrupted homeland, where we were happy, where we were surviving, where we were supposed to be. There’s a purity to it, a kind of pre-colonial sweetness. When I travelled there for the first time, I felt a deep connection to it……. It’s a release of every stress when you’re out on the land. It’s like that peaceful feeling you have when you wake up but your eyes are still closed, and there’s just a couple of seconds before everything piles on you and you have to get up. I feel like that all the time when I’m there.”

Tanya Tagaq - Canadian Geographic - Painting Process - Jacqui Oakley Illustration

Category: Editorial, Portraits
Client: Canadian Geographic