Killing Snake by Victoria Mamnguqsualuk. Coloured crayon/pastel and graphite on paper.

Victoria Mamnguqsualuk. Killing Snake, date unknown. Coloured crayon/pastel and graphite on paper, Sheet: 59.5 × 79.7 cm. Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002. © Public Trustee for Nunavut. Estate of Victoria Mamnguqsualuk. 2002/10371

Victoria Mamnguqsualuk

September 10, 2022 to January 2, 2023

Located on level 2 in the Bovey gallery (225).

Admission is always FREE for AGO Members, AGO Annual Pass Holders & Visitors 25 and under. Learn more.


One of the most prolific Inuit artists of her generation, Victoria Mamnguqsualuk brought the stories of Qiviuq (Kiviuq) to life in ink, coloured pencil, and tapestries. She learned many tales from her grandmother of animals who both helped and hindered Inuit existence. Alongside her mother, Jessie Oonark, Mamnguqsualuk used her sewing skills to create storied tapestries and expanded her artistic repertoire to include drawing and carving.

For the first thirty years of her life, she led a hunting lifestyle as a result of her people’s seasonal migration on the land of Back River, Northwest Territories. Mamnguqsualuk moved to Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake), Nunavut, in 1963 due to widespread famine and disease. Here, she became a major artist of the Sanavik Co-operative, showing eight of her prints in the first Baker Lake Print Collection in 1970.

Mamnguqsualuk’s style features confident and diverse lines that create a landscape in motion—one filled with people, animals, and beings from the spirit world. There are no empty arctic vistas in her work. Her early drawings convey how communities must work together to survive, which requires a careful caretaking relationship with animals and spirits.

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