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Kelly Etidloie was born in Cape Dorset on April 25th, 1966. His birth parents Etigajaarjuak and Taktu Pee lived on the land. Kelly was the youngest in the family. His father Etidlooie carved humans, birds and seals. Kellypalik learned to carve by watching his elders and by helping his sister Omalluk. He would watch his sister carve pieces and help Omalluk sand and finish her carvings. She encouraged Kelly to carve so he could make money. Kelly carved his first piece which was a bird at the age of 15 in 1981.
In the past, Kelly was known for his carved masks with human faces and birds incorporated into the design. Over the past few years, Kelly has been exploring the theme of wildlife grooming themselves. A bird preening with a delicate feather in it’s beak and a beautiful outstretched wing. The scratching musk ox with detailed hooves and a turned head. Kelly captures the intimate moments of birds feeding their young. His favourite bird to carve is the owl.
When Kelly was a young child, he would be out on the land hunting and fishing with his parents. Presently during the summers, Kelly and his family go walking on the land along the coast for clam digging. He observes birds during this time and uses it for inspiration in his work. He carves today because he has the skills and can provide for his family. It is rewarding for Kelly to finish a piece and be able to sell it.