Nunavut government worker’s creation lands on territory’s telephone book cover
Francis Lee used digital painting to depict Auyuittuq’s Mount Thor
An Iqaluit-based artist has used his computer skills and background in graphic design to win Northwestel’s Nunavut phone directory cover art competition.
Francis Lee’s artwork, called “Caribou grazing at Auyuittuq National Park,” is featured as the cover image on the new phone directory for the territory.
“At times, I have difficulty expressing my feelings and emotions through words. My artwork is a way to express myself,” Lee said in a news release from Northwestel on the award.
Lee, a network technician with the Government of Nunavut’s Community and Government Services department, says the digital painting is his interpretation of Auyuittuq’s landmark Mount Thor.
“I was fascinated about Pangnirtung when I first went there—it was amazing. I love all the hills and mountains. The beauty of the landscape—that’s what inspired me. I just thought of the land and of caribou grazing and I thought ‘this kinda works out.’ The park is one of my passions and one day I would love to go hiking there,” he said.
Northwestel has featured the work of northern artists on its regional phone directory covers for more than 30 years.
Northwestel selects the winners, in consultation with the local arts community, and each winning entry receives $3,000.
A first-time entrant in the annual competition, Lee says he created his winning artwork by employing the same style and technique used in Chinese watercolour paintings—though digitally.
“I was never really trained in any form of painting, so when it comes to painting landscapes, I do everything digital,” Lee said. “I love Chinese watercolour painting and I had a few brushes in Photoshop. That’s the thing about digital painting—you can create these brushes in Photoshop to give you the actual feel of watercolour. So, I thought ‘let’s try this method and see how it works out.’”
Lee said he was surprised to have his artwork selected for the Nunavut directory cover.
“Honestly, I couldn’t even believe that I actually won. I am very happy to be part of the group of Northwestel winners and it’s great for everyone to see my work,” he said.
Northwestel said that directory availability in each community may vary due to the COVID-19 pandemic measures, but directories can be picked up at designated pickup locations.
Northwestel directories can also be accessed online.