Kananginak has been involved with drawing and printmaking since the late 1950’s when the West Baffin Eskimo Co-op first initiated the graphic arts program at Cape Dorset. Kananginak’s first print, a collaborative image with his father, Pootoogook, was included in the first catalogued collection of Cape Dorset prints in 1959. His work has been included in all but three annual collections since that time.
Kananginak and his siblings grew up in different camp areas on south Baffin Island. Their main camp was Ikerrasak where their father, Pootoogook, was the respected camp leader. Kananginak married Shooyoo from Cape Dorset in the mid-1950’s. They lived at Ikerrasak until 1958 when they moved to Cape Dorset because of Pootoogook’s failing health.
From the beginning Kananginak has represented Arctic wildlife in his work. He is especially capable at drawing the many species of birds, which frequent the Arctic. In more recent years he has focused on the material culture of the Inuit, producing realistic, narrative drawings of camp and hunting scenes. His work has been produced in several print media – copper engravings, stonecuts, stencils, lithographs and etchings. Kananginak is an accomplished printmaker himself; in the early years he often proofed and editioned his work.
Kananginak lives in Cape Dorset with his wife, Shooyoo and their family.