Master Carver from Kugluktuk
Bobby Nokalak Anavilok is from Kugluktuk, but grew up on the land, moving by dogteam to hunt and fish. He is descended from the Klengenberg family and from people from the Bathurst Inlet area. His parents (Sam Anavilok and Martena Klengenberg Ohokak) were both carvers, and his mother was a talented seamstress.
Bobby learned from his father at an early age how to seek the spirit in the stone by observing the uncut stone, allowing the stone itself to suggest a shape, and in doing so, wasted less stone. He learned to draw by using flat stones as tablets to create scenes or depict animals. Once paper was available to him, he further developed his drawing skills. He learned the meaning of hard physical work on drill rigs in the Beaufort Sea, underground at Lupin Mine, and in working on the construction of the Jimmy Hikok Iliharvik in Kugluktuk.
In 1991, Bobby started carving professionally and now carves full time, quarrying his own material from sites near Kugluktuk, and working in muskox horn, caribou antler and bone, and ivory and bison horn. He also uses some specialty stone, including marble imported from Italy. Bobby’s carvings are fluid, action-oriented, detailed and realistic. A muskox charges out of white stone, hair flowing in the wind of its passage; caribou hustle, pursued by wolves, and bears done in a translucent white stone seem illuminated from within.
His carvings are carried in NDC’s Mississauga showroom , where they fly off the shelves. He is currently working on a number of carvings for an exhibition planned with a gallery in Vancouver for September of 2016. Look for more news of this talented carver.