Kenojuak Ashevak was born in 1927 in Ikirisaq, North West Territories. She spent most of her life living on the land like her ancestors, travelling from camp to camp on South Baffin and Arctic Quebec in search of food. She and her artist husband Johnniebo settled in Cape Dorset in 1966.
Kenojuak is the most internationally recognized of all Inuit artists. She received the Order of Canada in 1967 and was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1974. Three of her images have been released as Canadian postage stamps.
She creates in a style reminiscent of Japanese calligraphy in that she puts pencil to paper and does not lift it until she has completed the essential form of her image.
As Jean Blodgett notes in her book Kenojuak Masterworks Of The Inuit, Kenojuak's art is first and foremost an appreciation of the beauty of the universe. She creates without a preconceived idea with progressive strokes until she is satisfied with the composition. "I try to make things that satisfy my eye. It's the interplay of form and color that I enjoy".
In March 2008, Kenojuak Ashevak was awarded the prestigous GOVENOR GENERAL's AWARD for Visual Arts, the country's highest honour.