Mark Totan

Medium: Oil, Acrylic and Watercolour

Mark Totan was an Inuk artist, originally from the small community of Igloolik in the territory of Nunavut, on the north shore of Hudson’s Bay. He is a self-taught soapstone carver of original design and each carving depicts history, symbols and lifestyle of native people of Canada. As tradition would have it, the older master carver would hand down the the craft to the younger members of the family and the practice is carried on from generation to generation. Mark resided in Edmonton since March 1993 and his sons Clivelon and Tony Totan have been carving under their father’s tutelage for the many years. Mark passed away in his home in Edmonton in May of 2022

Mark began carving stone in the late 80’s and continues to use traditional methods in his carving. For Mark, the stone dictates what it will be, when he approaches the material. Mark Totan sculptures are carved in soapstone from around the world since Canadian soapstone has become less accessible. Such places as East Indian, South and North American and Chinese, all give unique characteristics to the subject depending on the geographical region of origin.

With a hammer and chisel, Mark initially roughs out the block of carving stone. For finishing, he then uses files, rasps and sandpaper. Danish oil or a liquid acrylic is rubbed on the stone as a final touch revealing the natural finish of the stone. The colours of the stone may vary from 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’s carvings are displayed and sold 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.

We are privileged to exhibit some of Mark’s incredible pieces of historical art in our gallery. The items we have on display and for sale are from a private collection.

For more information or to contact this artist for a commission, please contact [email protected].