Mark Totan

Mark Totan is an Inuk artist, originally from the small community of Igloolik in the territory of Nunavut, on the north shore of Hudson's Bay. He has resided in Edmonton since March 1993. Mark is a self-taught artist who has been carving original sculptures in soapstone for many years. Each carving is original and depicts the history, symbols and lifestyle of native people of Canada. Traditionally, the art form has been handed down from the older master carver to the younger members of the family and therefore carried on through the generations. Mark's sons Clivelon and Tony Totan have been carving under their father's instruction for the past few years.

Mark has been carving stone since 1988 and continues to use traditional methods in his carving. When asked to carve a particular image, he has often said that the stone decides what it will be. Because Canadian soapstone has become less accessible, the carvings of Mark Totan can be sculpted in soapstone from around the world including East Indian, South and North American and Chinese, all having individual characteristics depending on the geographical region of origin.

Mark initially roughs out the block of carving stone with hammer and chisel and then uses files, rasps and sandpaper for finishing. The final touch consists of rubbing with liquid acrylic or Danish oil to bring out the natural finish of the stone. The stone may vary in colour and markings from shades of black and brown to various shades of green as well as shades from cream to pure white. Soapstone is characterized by its softness and luster.

Mark Totan displays and sells his carvings in various galleries in Edmonton, Calgary, Banff and Jasper, Alberta and has sold work through the Hudson Bay Co-op. The sculptures of Mark Totan have been included in numerous private and corporate collections throughout the world and his carvings have been used for many corporate projects.

The art work of Mark Totan is proudly represented by Rowles & Company Ltd., Alberta's Corporate Gift & Art Gallery in Edmonton and Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


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