Abraham Anghik Ruben

Abraham Anghik Ruben
Inuit—Paulotuk, 1951

Raven As Creator


Abraham Anghik Ruben grew up in an era of profound change in Inuit culture, impelling his ongoing search to connect with his traditional roots. His grandparents, Apakark and Kagun, were noted shamans from the Bering Sea region of Alaska. Abraham was sent away to school at a young age, a traumatic episode of his life that later found expression in his art. He began his artistic training under Ronald Senungetuk at the University of Alaska’s Native Arts Centre and experimented with sculpture, jewelry, prints and drawings, eventually becoming known as a master sculptor.

In 1986, Abraham moved to Salt Spring Island, BC, where he lives with his wife, Patricia Donnelly, and their children. His powerful sculptures depict narrative and shamanic traditions of the Inuit and of the Viking Norse, building on his extensive research into parallels and connections between these cultures. Abraham explains his work in these words: “As a storyteller, I have sought to bring life to these ancient voices from a time when these two northern peoples held a reverence for the land and for all living things therein that provided sustenance and survival.”

Abraham’s work has appeared in museum exhibitions throughout Canada and the U.S. and is included in numerous private and corporate collection.