Clivelon Totan
1979 - 2018

Clivelon Totan passed away suddenly in October 2018. Clivelon was an Inuk artist, from the small community of Igloolik in the territory of Nunavut on the north shore of Hudson’s Bay. He resided in Edmonton, Alberta since 1998.

He was born in a summer camp in 1979 where his family lived on the land, hunting caribou and walrus. Clivelon attended Nunavut Arctic College in Iqaluit in 1997, taking dry walling, painting, decorating, plumbing and heating.

Clivelon began carving in 1999, beginning with Inukshuks and he has progressed into bears. His attention to detail and movement demonstrates his talent as a carver. Clivelon first learned to carve from his father, Mark Totan, helping him with preparing the stone for larger sculptures. The Inuit tradition of passing on the skill of soapstone carving from father to son, master to apprentice is evident between Mark and Clivelon.

His exquisite bears and Inukshuks are carved out of soapstone. Since Canadian stone has become less accessible, carvings can be sculpted from soapstones from around the world all having individual characteristics depending on the geographical region of origin.

Clivelon 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 a liquid acrylic or Danish oil to bring out the natural finish of the stone. The stone may vary in colour from shades of black and brown to various shades of green. It’s softness and luster characterize soapstone.

When the carving is completed each piece is signed by the mark of the carver.

The artwork of Clivelon Totan is represented by Rowles & Company Ltd, Alberta’s Corporate Gift & Art Gallery in Edmonton.

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