Users of Google, the world's most famous online search engine, are getting a shot of Canadian culture this Friday when they log onto Google's homepage. As its famous daily doodle, the California-headquartered company has posted an image adapted from the work of the famous Inuit artist, Kenojuak Ashevak.
Kenojuak, one of Canada's most honoured and most beloved art-makers, died in January, 2013, at her Cape Dorset home – but were she alive, Oct. 3 would have been her 87th birthday.
The doodle, in various shades of brown, depicts a forward-facing owl-like creature, its outstretched wings suspending it above two low-slung, four-footed creatures, one facing left, the other right. Some sources have described the graphic as being inspired by Kenojuak's most famous print, 1960's The Enchanted Owl. However, Toronto-based Dorset Fine Arts, which manages Kenojuak's estate, says its elements are, in fact, modifications of motifs found in two other Kenojuak prints, 1995's Owl and Caterpillar and Above and Below, from 2013. Google approached Dorset a couple of months ago for permission to riff on Kenojuak for its daily doodle.
Canadian chests are no doubt swelling with pride. Too bad that in the brief description of the work on Google.com, the "ever-humble" Kenojuak is identified as an "Intuit artist" rather than Inuit.